With the 80s and 90s at the center of the hipster revolution sweeping through Tel Aviv, record stores are making a comeback. The rise of vintage-oriented consumers has meant a proliferation of nostalgic clothing, live concerts, and–more recently–music stores. No matter where you are in the White City, getting your hands on a shiny black vinyl, especially by Israeli and Middle Eastern artists, has never been easier. On-trend passions intersect at the café-meets-record-store B-side Stereo and Disc Center where you can perouse indie films alongside records and CDs. Hipsters take note: in Israel’s trendiest city it’s no longer cool enough to dress, eat, and drink in style–your vinyl collection needs to be up to par too!
Revamp your vinyls at these record stores
Over the last few years, Israel has been going through a vinyl revival. Beatnik has been one of the pioneers of this movement. About 80% of the store consists of used records of all genres—rock, pop, jazz, blues, soul, funk, hip hop…and of course lots of Israeli and Middle Eastern music. They also offer coffee and beer so you can sit in their lounge area and sip on a beverage while enjoying the tasty tunes.
The Third Ear is a thriving chain of record and film shops with three locations across Israel. For over twenty years, this cultural icon has brought a vast selection of local and international records, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, to Israel. In addition to mainstream titles, The Third Ear aims to provide rare or censored content, material otherwise difficult to find. Visitors can get lost in the endless rows of media, exploring the tens of thousands of titles offered. Once the home of TLVFest (the city’s number one LGBTQ film festival), the Tel Aviv location connects to Ozen Bar, which offers daily live shows of bands from every genre as well as parties, standup events, poetry nights, and lectures.
Nestled between the narrow streets adorned with colorful graffiti lies a magical little record and coffee store in Florentin. Come flip through the vast vinyl collection and find new and old goodies to take home. The enthusiastic employees will be glad to assist with guidance on discovering music for your individual tastes. While you’re there, order a cappuccino (some claim it’s one of the best in Tel Aviv) and lounge in the sun on their back patio while the resident orange tom cat rubs against your legs. Could it get any more authentically Florentin?
Hod Hamahat Record Shop is a throwback to a different time. In addition to selling quality second-hand vinyl records, they sell, buy and repair vintage audio equipment, including turntables, speakers, amps and more. In an age where locating quality non-MP3 based music equipment can be a challenge, entering Hod Hamahat Record Shop makes you feel like you're stepping back into the 60’s. The vinyl collection is handpicked to ensure that both beginner collectors and those who have spent a lifetime developing their assemblage will find something special.
Buying music at a shop might seem like a thing of the past, but Disc Center makes purchasing music relevant with a dual record shop and online platform. The record shop, located amongst the 400+ stores at Dizengoff Center, is known for its reasonable prices and immense collection of modern music. Additionally, both the store and online site sell DVDs and music-inspired merchandise. Between the floor to ceiling displays of vinyl records and new releases, there is sure to be something for every music lover at Disc Center.
Named after Israel's preeminent 1980's DJ, the record shop Ilan Ben Shahar boasts a collection of records for authentic Israeli music lovers. The independent record store pays homage to Ben Shahar's artistic vision for Israel, featuring countless records of Israeli singers and displaying his cartoon headshot – complete with his quintessential black sunglasses – on the sign outside. In addition to popular titles from the 80's and 90's, the store has an assortment of modern music from around the world. Located in northern Tel Aviv, the trip is worth it for anyone looking for the atmosphere and offerings of a classic record store.
Black Hole is located just off of King George, very close to Dizengoff Center. If you happen to be in the heart of Tel Aviv, it’s a great place to stop by and rummage through the bins—you can never be sure what you might find. Not only do they offer a large selection of vinyl, but also audio cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and record players. As its name suggests, with a selection so varied, you may enter the Black Hole and never come out.