Header image courtesy of Esther Driehaus (via Unsplash)
Originally published by Catharina Cheung. Last updated by Annette Chan.
We are huge fans of vinyl. There’s something about slipping a record out of its sleeve, feeling its grooves, and knowing you’re holding a little piece of history that is just so nostalgically romantic. Analogue format music has really had a renaissance in the past decade, with many eschewing the streaming-led digital format and reverting back to an older age of tangible experiences. For lovers of analogue, nothing sounds quite as clear and warm as it does on vinyl, digital revolution be damned!
Some may scoff and write the whole thing off as yet another pretentious hipsterism, valid only for a moustachioed crowd who subsists solely on almond milk flat whites and kale crisps, but hey, consider all those thousands of records due to be carted off to the landfill. It’s mainly small establishments keeping this market afloat, and you know what they say about supporting your friendly local businesses and taking care of the environment! Here are our favourite spots to flip through crates of pre-loved tracks in hunting for vinyl records.
For an education in the art of vinyl records, there is no better place than The Record Museum by Sam the Record Man. Proprietor James Tang has amassed a huge collection of rare and high-end pressings, specialising in first-edition Japanese prints, in his quest to find the purest form of recorded sound. The very definition of an audiophile, Tang is a veritable font of knowledge when it comes to vinyl records—and his collection of master tapes is second to none, offering visitors a chance to listen to iconic, world-famous records, as they were meant to be heard. While you can’t buy some of the rarer records here, you will be able to find something within your taste (and budget) among the tens of thousands of records within the museum’s walls.
The Record Museum, 12/F, Nam Hing Fong, 39 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay
Yes, that Frank’s—the one with the killer meatball subs, free-flowing Aperol Spritzes, and pillowy gnocco fritto. This Italian-American restaurant on the corner of Wyndham and Pottinger is best known for its red-sauce fare, but swing by on Sunday afternoons and you may well find its “all genre, all style, all vinyl) record mart in full swing. Sellers include Vintage Vinyl, Bad Times Disco, Chinatown Records, and many more—so you can be sure that there is something for everyone’s taste—and you’ll even find vintage record players for sale!
Frank’s Italian American Social Club, 79 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 9097 9730
If your tastes lean more towards classical, orchestral music, head to Shun Cheong Record in Mong Kok to explore what may well be one of the largest vinyl collections in Hong Kong. While there are certainly other genres to be found in Shun Cheong—rock, alternative, and Cantonese oldies, to name a few—they specialise in classical and jazz records, with a healthy showing of audiophile-worthy “mofi” records across the board. Accordingly, the prices at Shun Cheong also tend to be a fair bit higher than at other stores—so just keep that in mind!
Shun Cheong Record, Flat 802, Bank Centre, 636 Nathan Road, Mong Kok | (+852) 2332 2397
Located on the fifth floor of an old building by the Mid-Levels escalator, Stone Cold is a treasure trove of mint condition new and sealed LPs, CDs, and deluxe box sets. Despite this requirement, Stone Cold sells plenty of older releases alongside the new ones—and a wider-than-usual selection of cool coloured vinyls, too. Not only does Stone Cold offer their vinyls at a very competitive price, but they also accept PayMe, Octopus, and FPS for added convenience! Just make sure to check their opening hours on Facebook before you visit, as they do change every now and then.
Stone Cold Records, Room 505, 5/F, Won Hing Building, 74–78 Stanley Street, Central
Tucked away along the Sai Kung town waterfront, Ventuno is a hole-in-the-wall shop selling vinyl records, tennis equipment, CBD products, snacks, and beers. Owned and operated by Gordon Cummings—a.k.a. Yeodie, Volar’s former resident DJ—the vinyl selection is as eclectic and interesting as the general goods for sale. With its relaxed waterfront location and open shopfront, Ventuno also doubles as a makeshift bar and hangout spot where you can crack open a Lucky Buddha beer and dance to some tunes with a couple of pals.
Ventuno, 21 Hoi Pong Street, Sai Kung | (+852) 9383 9721
Hidden out of view by the dai pai dongs on Stanley Street, Classic Shop is only noticeable via one nondescript sign. Once you’ve located it though, you’ll find the floor to ceiling packed with thousands of records, many of which are hard to find or lesser-known gems; do check out their reasonably priced second-hand classical music records ranging from opera to symphony concertos. They also stock CDs if you’re nostalgic for the 1990s, as well as audio equipment, and the staff are knowledgeable and friendly.
Classic Shop, 2/F, Room 201, Won Hing Building, 74–78 Stanley Street, Central | (+852) 2541 7733
More of a market displaying a jumble of old items than purely a record shop, Collectables also stocks pre-loved books and an assortment of curiosities. The common thread stringing everything together is that they are all artistically or culturally geared. A self-proclaimed “marketplace for exchanging and recycling cultural collections,” you’ll definitely be able to find something interesting as long as you’re willing to spend time sifting through everything.
Collectables, 1/F, City Hall Low Block, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central | (+852) 2559 9562
Located right near the Mid-Levels escalators, this little shop is tucked away up several flights of stairs. They stock a decent collection of second-hand vinyl across all genres and also have some seven-inch vinyl singles. You can usually listen to the records before making the purchase, and there’s also a chair in the middle of everything that you can curl up in to soak in the music.
Walls of Sound, 3/F, 38 Cochrane Street, Central | (+852) 2805 1584
Rock Gallery doesn’t just focus on vinyls, but is still worth visiting as an independent music shop selling lots of rock & roll, blues, jazz, and movie soundtracks. Their records are mostly imported from the US, the UK, Japan, and Korea, with some pressings from Taiwan. They also stock freshly pressed vinyl records, so if you prefer something more modern that hasn't already been used, this is your go-to shop.
Rock Gallery, Shop 202, 2/F, Tai Yau Plaza, 181 Johnston Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2572 9630
This is a members-based record dealer catering to audiophiles who want only the best. If you’re a serious music buff looking for a rare pressing or a recording that you simply can’t find elsewhere, Sonata Club is a good place to contact. They stock mainly classical and jazz titles.
Sonata Club, 13/F, Lee Roy Commercial Building, 57–59 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2798 6538
We think this shop is actually eponymously named as the owner Paul “rescues” each vinyl he comes across, and so has more than 400,000 second-hand vinyl records stashed throughout the cramped space. Remember that scene in the first Harry Potter film when Harry goes wand shopping at the shambolic Ollivander’s? Looking through Vinyl Hero is a similar experience; there is no rhyme or reason to how things are organised, but Paul seems to know exactly where everything is and can navigate the towering stacks to dig out something perfect for you. Browsing is a bit of a difficult business, but should you be in the market for second-hand pressings from the 1960s and 1970s, definitely pay Paul a visit.
Vinyl Hero, Flat D, 5/F, Wai Hong Building, 239 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 9841 7136
Alternative and indie fans will no doubt already know of White Noise, which stocks everything from funk and soul to garage and punk. No matter how obscure or far-out your favourite sounds are, chances are they will be found here. We particularly like their Japanese psychedelic stock. White Noise also supports up-and-coming local acts and hosts live gigs fairly often. Plus, they have a cute shop cat who hangs around and lies all over the very records you want to look at.
White Noise Records, 199 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2591 0499
Another point of interest for indie tunes, Zoo Records has partnered with White Records for various projects and has a similar vibe. You’ll be able to find classic alternative bands like New Order with some obscure acts from across Europe and Asia, but also modern classics such as Radiohead and Joy Division. Hit them up for indie rock acts like Jarvis Cocker.
Zoo Records, Shop 325, 3/F, President Commercial Centre, 608 Nathan Road, Mong Kok | (+852) 2309 2911
Located right next door to arthouse screen Broadway Cinematheque, Kubrick is famous for being a chill space selling coffee, books, and records. They seem to mostly specialise in Asian music with some indie offerings, and also sell posters, t-shirts, and other such merch in case the album itself isn’t enough to satisfy you. Grab a latte and have a poke around—hours easily gone.
Kubrick, 3 Public Square Street, Prosperous Garden, Yau Ma Tei | (+852) 2384 8929
You’d have to venture behind the stalls on Ladies’ Market to find The Beat Records. They stock a large collection of Asian releases on both CD and vinyl; on our last visit, we were sorely tempted by a soundtrack picture disc featuring Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (despite not even owning a record player yet). They also carry a large stock of reissues on 180-gramme vinyl—just like HMV used to do—but dig deeper and you should be able to find cheaper, more avant-garde offerings.
The Beat Records, 53 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 2780 0956
No trip to Lamma Island is complete without a visit to Lamma Vinyl. This friendly neighbourhood shop specialises in vintage offerings from the 1960s onwards—if you ever want a pressing of Saturday Night Fever, this is your first port of call.
Lamma Vinyl, 1/F, 45 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island | (+852) 2335 0601
This is not really a vinyl store, but a forum on Facebook selling records, cassettes, and other audio-related paraphernalia. They also host regular record pop-ups, where both sellers and collectors come together to exchange and acquire vinyls. Vintage Vinyl is a great event for analogue aficionados to explore the local scene and get to know more people with the same niche interest. Happy spinning!
This friendly upstairs shop in Mong Kok has a focus on music from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China—we really like that they do their best to highlight local Hong Kong independent bands and labels across all genres. That said, they do also stock a wide range of vinyls, as well as CDs and cassettes both new and pre-loved, from all over the world. If your musical inclination leans towards metal, rock, or jazz, give these guys a visit.
Infree Records, Room B, 2/F, 26–28 Mong Kok Road, Mong Kok | (+852) 6152 3082