A guide to our five favorite record shops in Montreal.
Montreal is an alluring city. It’s hip. It has a reputation for excellent food. And it’s always been a hot bed for great music. Indeed, Montreal has been called home by artists like Leonard Cohen, Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, The Besnard Lakes, TOPS, Chromeo, Islands, Grimes, Stars, The Dears, and so forth. All of that in what is arguably the most European city in North America. Whatever you’re looking for, Montreal will not disappoint.
Music fans in particular will find a lot to love. There is not one, but two, giant murals dedicated to Leonard Cohen. If, like us, you’re a fan of food and music pairings, you’ll want to hit up the Haitian restaurant, Agrikol, owned by Win and Regina from Arcade Fire. And, like any city oozing with culture, it’s littered with countless music venues large and small for catching a gig.
So it’s no surprise that it’s also a great destination for crate diggers and serious vinyl collectors. Kasey and I traveled the city mostly by foot over the course of little more than 48 hours and managed to hit up nearly a dozen unique record shops finding something to appeal to nearly any taste. Here’s a list of a few of our favorites (in no particular order):
Aux 33 Tours is arguably Montreal’s largest record shop which offers an impressive selection of records including an impressively large number of imports and special editions. It’s a good bet for scoring rare Record Store Day releases or the latest offerings from any of your favorite bands.
The quirky À Paul Boutique, as the name might suggest, is a great spot for scoring classic hip hop LPs and vinyl. When we visited, it was slightly disorganized, but it’s a great spot for scoring some rare gems and it certainly has a ton of charm. The store’s owner, Paul, is a character in the best possible way.
In addition to offering great prices on the latest releases from contemporary bands like The National and Kacy Hill, Beatnik Records offers a solid selection of old Blues and Jazz LPs. The shop itself is warm and well maintained. It’s a real gem.
The large and well stocked La Fin du Vinyle offers an absolutely incredible selection of used wax with an emphasis on electronic, dance, jazz, and classical music. It’s not a place to score new releases but it’s definitely my top choice for crate digging bliss. What’s more, they have a number of cozy listening spaces with turntables equipped with headphones for sampling those hidden gems you discover.
Not far from St. Viateur Bagels in the Mile End, you’ll find the excellent Phonopolis. With an emphasis on local music and stuff that falls outside of the mainstream, it’s an easy spot to recommend. Fresh bagels and vinyl shopping: is there a better way to spend a Sunday morning? I think not.
Planning a trip to Montreal? Be sure to check out our guide to spending three perfect days there, including recommendations for accommodations, restaurants, and sites.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Tourisme Montréal and QuébecOriginal, who helped us out with flights, accommodations, and some of our meals. All words and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help us do what we do!