Melbourne — known for its amazing selection of food and coffee, AFL (a strange game where people in the smallest shorts imaginable kick an egg-shaped ball around a giant egg-shaped park), and general quality of life — may not be the country’s capital, but when it comes to music, Melbourne holds the crown for the best scene in Australia.
From non-stop gigs in every corner of the city to the sheer abundance of record stores, from the dirtiest punk 45s to blues, techno, dub, opera, and beyond — if it’s on wax, you are bound to find it in one of the city’s legendary shops.
Even if you’re not sure what you are looking for, drop in and have a chat with your local record hustler. They have a magical knack for knowing what you want before you do! Let us take a short peek at the best record stores in Melbourne, Australia. You can find even more amazing stores on Vinylhub, the online record store database.
Dutch Vinyl Record Store
Dutch Vinyl Record Store started in 1996 and is still going strong offering a wide selection of genres while focusing on European and Australian pressings. There are plenty of $5 gems and new imports alike! Located right near Abbotsford’s main transport hub, getting from the CBD to this store is a breeze. It’s also conveniently located right next to a favorite spot to grab a bite, Kelso’s Sandwich Shoppe.
269 Johnston St. Abbotsford VIC 3067
Who’s got the funk? Northside’s got the funk. Northside is an institution. When a store is run by someone who lives, breathes, and sweats funk, you know the digging is going to be good, from Afrobeat, way-out space jazz, obscure hip-hop, and funk anthems of yesteryear to the funkiest offerings that local artists have released. You are always going to walk out with a stack of gems. Not sure where to start in-store? Ask Chris for his picks — he’ll always dig up something that gets that head bobbing!
236 Gertrude St. Fitzroy VIC 3065
Wax Museum Records
Wax Museum, also being home to the record label of the same name, is a hidden diggers paradise. Holding an amazing collection of new-release hip-hop, soul, jazz, funk, and reggae along with a stellar selection of hard-to-find pressings, this store is a must-visit for DJs and collectors with their fingers on the pulse. You’re bound to find some fresh heat for your record box. Located in the heart of Melbournes CBD, it couldn’t be easier to get to.
Shop 2, Campbell Arcade, Degraves Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Upon entering Rocksteady Records, the first thing that catches your eye is how beautiful the space is. The layout and fittings of the shop really do make this a very peaceful place to dig. With over 30 years in the game, the store’s owner Pat Monaghan definitely knows his records, and it shows in the deep selections they have in store. If reggae and Caribbean music aren’t your things, Rocksteady also has some very deep crates of soul, funk, and disco to take home. Located in Melbourne’s CBD, it’s very easy to get to and surrounded by fantastic spots to grab a bite and refuel for the next shop on the digging list.
Level 1, 358 Lonsdale St. Melbourne VIC 3004
This is the go-to digging spot for touring musicians. The names that have come through this door looking for wax are almost as impressive as the records on selection. Since opening in 1978, the collection has grown into a stash of epic proportions — there are now upwards of 30,000 records for sale on any given day, from rare 1920s blues pressings all the way through to the hottest import electronica,. Who knows who you might run into in-store.
152 Greville St. Prahran VIC 3181
Vicious Sloth Collectables
How could we miss this store, which is among the weirdest record shop names worldwide? This is another Melbourne institution known for attracting some of the biggest musicians in the world. Henry Rollins and the Metallica crew are just some of the names that have popped through in the past, and with good reason. Vicious Sloth is known as the go-to spot for 1960s and ’70s Australian rock, punk, psych, and whatever other generally rockin’ music they can get their hands on. The store specializes in second-hand stock carefully curated by owners Peter and Terry, who have been trading vinyl since the mid-1980s.
1309 High St. Malvern VIC 3144
Article originally published in 2019. Last updated in 2021. Feature image by Dmitry Osipenko.