when it comes to most "local" and best prices, 2nd avenue wins every time. it's so small and so crowded that it can turn folks off, but this shop is the epitome of family-run small business. they always have new releases and they almost always have the limited/indie versions. they very clearly get the largest shipments of RSD items too. i've waited in line for 1.5 hours well past opening and still found basically everything on my list. and they do take credit cards, so that's a plus
I agree that 2nd ave is exactly that. They are so reasonable on their prices. And they're actually opening up today, limited hours.
Jackpot is the other I hit too. Crossroads is great for a dig session, which I could use now.
The only reason I didn't spend more time at 2nd Ave is because it was my son's birthday and I would have spent all day in there. I found the shop when we had a small window to kill and had to stick a pin in it for later. I just haven't been back to Portland since.2nd Avenue is my go-to. Their prices can't be beat, and I've had good luck finding gems that are long gone at other shops. Gotta love the dial-up credit card system, the handwritten receipts, and the subtle yet sincere service they all provide. They have been carrying all of the Blue Note re-issues (80th/Tone Poet) at prices well below Music Millennium's. All of that said, I hope they come out the other side of this, as I don't think they have any e-commerce or curbside options going at the moment. (EDIT: just saw @Matt M post that they are opening today, great news).
I haven't really understood the Music Millennium hype for quite some time. Shopped there a lot in the 90's, discovered some great music and really loved the staff working there at the time. At some point along the way, they lost me and I just haven't had a great experience the various times I have given them another chance. And given the variable experience, really hard to pay the premium pricing they charge.
Jackpot! is a great shop...that said, I hardly ever get over there...and by the time I do, never seem to find anything that I haven't already tracked down elsewhere. Oh well.
Mississippi Records is a gem, more or less my 1a to 2nd Ave.