Chicago’s Coolest Record Stores

Records have taken an unprecedented swing into the mainstream and have become a subculture staple, especially in Chicago. These spots are sure to make any music enthusiast’s ears perk up.

Reckless

Flickr user, Alex D Stewart

Flickr user, Alex D Stewart

This famed spot started in London and now has three locations in Chicago: one in Lakeview, one in the Loop, and one in Wicker Park. The one in Wicker Park was the first, and it often hosts some pretty incredible shows. All three have amazing collections though, and you can put your name down to be notified when a certain album or artist comes through.

Laurie’s

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via Flickr user Anthony Auston

This hidden gem is quickly becoming a Chicago staple. It has a lineup of diverse music acts, sells vinyl for fair prices, and showcases staff picks so you can discover some new jams and bond with other collectors.

Bric-a-Brac

Bric-a-Brac is a record store, sure, but they also sell a bunch of vintage stuff, including cassette tapes galore. They have a really cool vinyl ceiling, small shows, and release parties that are more fun than you can handle.

Permanent Records

Flickr user, Kyle Akerman

Flickr user, Kyle Akerman

An obvious punk-rock ode to back in the day when you had a four-page long permanent record, this place is as cool as it is extensive in its selection. They have tons of rare vinyl, so if you’re looking for something elusive, you can probably find it here. If not, they’ll help you hunt it down.

Saki Records

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via Flickr user Rachel Angres

Saki is part record store, part used bookstore, part art gallery. The staff here are exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly, and you can pick up lots of local zines. They even have a listening station so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Logan Hardware

This spot is a not only a top-notch record store in a great neighborhood, but it’s also attached to a barcade. Sold yet? With an expansive selection of vinyl and all of the classic pinball games, you’re sure to have a good time and you won’t leave empty-handed.

Jazz Mart

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via Flickr user leyla.a

This Loop-based record store has “tens of thousands of new and used LPs, CDs, 45s, 78s, cassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, postcards, and more!” They also claim to be the world’s largest jazz and blues record store in the world. If you’ve ever been in there, you wouldn’t doubt it.

Dave’s Records 

Flickr user, Caitlin

Flickr user, Caitlin

While the owner of this hole in the wall might not be the nicest of folk, the prices here are unbeatable. With over 40,000 titles to choose from at any given time, you’ll not only find exactly what you’re looking for, but also few surprises sure to become your new favorites.

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