There's nothing quite like listening to music on vinyl. There's a reason the format has hung on after all these years, despite being bulky and expensive. You don't have to be a DJ to appreciate the experience of selecting a distinctive sleeve from a box or shelf, extracting the disc from inside and sliding it onto the player.

Record stores take that process one step further. Unlike iTunes, Spotify and other digital music sites, it takes serious time to assess the stock. Along the way you'll probably end up chatting to the staff and other customers, and maybe learn something new about your chosen scene, be it soul, folk, bluegrass or techno. Here are our favourite spots for crate digging.

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Rocksteady Records

Backed by more than three decades of knowhow.

Level 1, Mitchell House 358 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne


House, techno, Italo, disco and Balearic from a trio of respected Melbourne DJs.

167A Johnston Street, Collingwood

Greville Records

Supporting and importing indie music since 1978.

152 Greville Street, Prahran

Vicious Sloth Collectables

If you’re lucky, you might bump into some rock legends while you browse.

1309 High Street, Malvern

Basement Discs

Operating below Block Place since ’94.

Basement 24 Block Place, Melbourne

Profile Music

Where everybody knows your name.

147 Greville Street, Prahran

The Searchers Records & Books

You’ll need to make good use of the rolling ladder in this music library.

93 Smith Street, Fitzroy

Record Paradise

The name says it all.

15 Union Street, Brunswick

Licorice Pie Records

Holds more than 15,000 rare and classic releases.

249a High Street, Prahran

Goldmine Records

Strike it rich at this inner north crate-digging institution.

Fitzroy North Shop 355 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North

Wax Museum

Underground records in an underground shop.

Shop 2, Campbell Arcade Degraves Street, Melbourne

Northside Records

Satisfying Melbourne’s soul and funk cravings since 2002.

236 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

Alley Tunes

Come for the coffee, stay for the vinyl.

Shop 8 660 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

Plug Seven Records

Nearly 10,000 records await jazz, hip-hop, Afro and soul fans.

313A Smith Street, Fitzroy

Vinyl Space

There are thousands of records, but expect to find some Dylan, Bowie, Zappa and Springsteen in the mix.

119A Johnston Street, Collingwood

Happy Valley

Books, art, design and records. All the things that make us happy, in other words.

294 Smith Street, Collingwood

Hub 301

Forward-thinking house and techno records from a veteran of the scene.

301 Johnston Street, Abbotsford

Dutch Vinyl

There’s nothing cheap or DIY about this refined record store.

269 Johnston Street, Abbotsford

Oh! Jean Records

More than 1000 brand-new titles to browse.

276 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy

Vinyl Revival

High-quality turntable-based sound systems and records to play on them.

405 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Rathdowne Records

More than 100 crates of jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop and more.

230 High Street, Northcote

Strangeworld Records

Punk, post-punk, noise, metal and more.

519 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North

Thornbury Records

New alternative rock records, plus turntable repairs.

591 High Street, Thornbury

Round and Round

Every single sleeve comes with its own description.

556 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Bounce Audio

New house and techno records, with a side of equipment hire.

37 Cato Street, Prahran

Heartland Records

Metal and classic rock since 1992.

420/422 Victoria Street, North Melbourne

White Rabbit Record Bar

Vinyl on the stereo, great beverages and light dining.

176 Bellair Street , Kensington