13 Best Vinyl Record Stores in Chicago

  • By: Andrew
  • Date: August 15, 2022

Chicago has given us a lot of great music. The city can claim Wilco, Kanye, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Warren Zevon, to name a tiny fraction of their talent. Unsurprisingly, Chicago is crawling with vinyl stores. The Windy City has a vibrant vinyl culture, rife with unusual, eclectic stores-too many to visit in one trip. 

Here are the 13 best Vinyl stores in Chicago:

  1. Rattleback Records
  2. Bucket O’ Blood Books and Records
  3. Tone Deaf Records
  4. 606 Records
  5. Bric-a-Brac Records
  6. Hype Park Records
  7. Reckless Records
  8. Dusty Groove
  9. Laurie’s Planet of Sound
  10. Out of the Past Records
  11. Record Breakers
  12. Val’s Halla Records
  13. Dave’s Records

This list represents a diverse collection of stores and music spread throughout Chicago. No matter your listening preferences, you’ll surely find a record store that you love from the list below!

Table of Contents

1. Rattleback Records

Rattleback is a small store that can’t hold many customers at once, but the intimate experience is worth the wait. The store only allows four customers at a time, so don’t be surprised if there’s a line to get in! 

The small store fits perfectly amongst Clark Street’s myriad cool shops and small businesses, making it an integral part of the neighborhood’s vibrant energy.

Rattleback’s inventory includes a wide selection of both new and used LPs. While the catalog consists of some new releases, the focus is on:

  • Rock 
  • Blues 
  • Jazz 

Rattleback fits the chaotic mold of many record stores. Plan to spend considerable time digging through the stacks. The shop even offers stools and a couch for your efforts! 

You can also join Rattleback’s Record Club. Fill out a form indicating your musical interests, and Rattleback creates a monthly selection of vinyl. You can have the records shipped or pick them up in the store.

2. Bucket O’ Blood Books and Records

Bucket O’ Blood would have made our list based solely on its name. Luckily, the store’s catalog more than warrants its inclusion here. Opened in 2010, Bucket o’ Blood carries a niche collection of vinyls in the following categories:

  • Rock 
  • Punk
  • Metal 

The shop doesn’t stop at records, though. Bucket O’ Blood also sells reasonably priced books in a variety of genres, including:

  • Horror 
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Literary Fiction
  • Popular Science
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Biographies

The shop carries used sci-fi and horror DVDs, ensuring you can find something you want in Bucket o’ Blood.

  • Address:3182 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 312-890-3860
  • Website: http://bucketoblood.com/
  • Hours: 12:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily

3. Tone Deaf Records

Tone Deaf provides every possible need for novice and veteran vinyl lovers. The store’s stock isn’t limited to records; it also includes:

  • Record Cleaning Kits
  • Storage Accessories
  • Shirts
  • CDs
  • Stereo Gear
  • Apparel 
  • Books
  • Cassettes

Tone Deaf offers in-store record cleaning services for a dollar per record.

The vinyl catalog focuses on:

  • Punk
  • Metal 
  • Jazz
  • Soul
  • Indie
  • Classic Rock

Tone Deaf opened its doors in 2019 and has accrued a loyal clientele. The shop holds movie screenings and live music events.

  • Address: 4356 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 773-372-6643
  • Website: https://tonedeafrecs.com/
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

4. 606 Records

606 is designed for the adventurous. The store primarily carries independent labels, both local and international. Local bands are prominently featured in the small, sleek storefront. 

Only ten customers are allowed inside 606’s Pilsen location. Once inside, music lovers can flip through:

  • New and used records
  • A variety of turntables
  • Gear
  • Totes
  • Books 

606 hosts DJ sets and doubles as a local record label. The store opened in 2015 and quickly became a Chicago institution. The shop also offers online ordering and curbside pickup.

  • Location: 1808 S. Allport, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 312-585-6106
  • Website: https://www.606records.com/
  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

5. Bric-a-Brac Records

Bric-a-brac is the perfect name for this eclectic memorabilia shop. So much more than simply a record store, the shop sells a wide variety of:

  • Action Figures
  • Tchotchkes
  • VHS tapes
  • Records
  • Posters
  • Branded apparel

Bric-a-brac’s stock focuses heavily on nostalgia, specifically for the ’80s and ’90s. The shop is always ready to buy your memorabilia and albums, though you may end up putting your profits right back into the store.

The vinyl selection focuses on garage rock, punk, and local talent. Bric-a-Brac occasionally holds in-store events, so visit their website often.

6. Hyde Park Records

Hyde Park Records covers a wide range of genres, but they specialize in:

  • R&B
  • Soul
  • Blues
  • Hip-hop
  • Gospel

The store brings in new releases weekly and provides a listening booth to help you decide whether or not a record is worth your money. 

Hyde Park’s fan base includes many local musicians and DJs. The store periodically hosts DJ sets. 

Hyde Park isn’t terribly organized, so be prepared to dig through the stacks. Your patience will be rewarded with rare finds and 99-cent steals.

  • Location: 1377 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, Illinois 
  • Phone: 773-288-6588
  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/HydeParkRecords/
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily

7. Reckless Records

Reckless Records opened the doors to their Wicker Park location in 1988. The store migrated to Chicago from London and still carries a heavy supply of international records. 

Reckless provides a great deal of information to inquisitive record buyers. Unsure if vinyl is your jam? Check out the staff review sticker to get a feel for its content. 

Staff picks provide suggestions and guidance for those ready to try something new. Reckless Records clearly marks every rare and recommended title so you know what you’re buying.

The store has drawn considerable talent since its inception, including Jack White. 

Reckless Records is a Chicago institution with an impressive selection and reasonable prices.

  • Location: 1379 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 773-235-3727
  • Website: https://www.reckless.com/index.php
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

8. Dusty Groove 

Dusty Groove is an anomaly in the record store environment. Highly organized but deeply eclectic, the store started life as a website in 1996. The collection moved to a Wicker Park shop in the early 2000s and has garnered endless acclaim ever since.

Dusty Groove carries a wide variety of inventory often overlooked by other record stores. Genres include:

  • Tropicalia 
  • Afrobeat
  • Reggae
  • Vintage Soul
  • French Pop
  • Blues
  • Jazz

In 2010, no less than Rolling Stone magazine honored Dusty Groove’s clean corridors and neat stacks by ranking it the number three record store in America. 

The store buys your used vinyls and CDs.

Beyond music, Dusty Groove sells:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • DVDs
  • Videos
  • Bags
  • Turntables and supplies
  • Clothing
  • Coffee

You can also access the store’s inventory via their meticulously organized website.

  • Address: 1120 No. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 773-342-5800
  • Website: https://dustygroove.com/
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily 

9. Laurie’s Planet of Sound

Laurie’s Planet of Sound wears its nostalgia on its sleeve. The store’s decoration is purely, lovingly 90’s, dominated by handmade signs.

Beyond vinyl, Laurie’s Planet of Sound sells:

  • DVDs
  • Books
  • CDs

The store also buys all of the above for either cash or store credit. The shop has a wide variety of tchotchkes and memorabilia for sale. Expect to find unusual treasures, such as Johnny Cash action figures.

Laurie’s Planet of Sound is highly selective in what they are willing to buy and sell. A staff member posted an extensive “Do Not Buy List” in 2012 to let other employees know which bands to avoid buying from customers. 

  • Address: 4639 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 
  • Phone: 773-271-3569
  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/lauriesplanetofsound
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

10. Out of the Past Records

As the name suggests, Out of the Past is essential to Chicago’s history. One of the oldest record stores in the city, the original shop was opened in 1969 but burnt in the fires during the riots over Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. 

The store reopened better than ever and has been delighting niche record buyers ever since.

Out of the Past is precisely what you’d expect from a vintage record store: great piles of unorganized stacks, a shop cat wandering through the aisles, and all kinds of music styles for you to enjoy. 

Block off considerable time for your Out of the Past visit. The records aren’t organized, but if you are willing to dedicate the time and patience, you’ll find a remarkable selection of:

  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Soul
  • Gospel

You won’t find new releases at Out of the Past, but you will find a wide selection of gently-used and affordable records. 

Beyond vinyl, Out of the Past sells:

  • Cassettes
  • CDs
  • Hats

11. Record Breakers

Record Breakers is the most nomadic store on our list. The original incarnation of the shop opened in 1988 in a Chicago suburb. In 2007, Record Breakers moved to the second floor of Reggies in the South Loop neighborhood. The store moved again in 2017, this time to Avondale.

Record Breakers carries a wide variety of vinyl, covering all musical genres and eras. 

The store buys, trades, and sells your used cassettes and vinyls.

Use your credit card or cash to shop at Record Breakers, where you can find a variety of:

  • Records
  • Tapes
  • Band T-shirts
  • Turntables
  • Collectibles
  • Puzzles
  • Mugs
  • Record cleaning equipment

Record Breakers is pet friendly. They have a turtle mascot and offer treats for your fuzzy friends. 

The store was named one of TimeOut Chicago’s “20 Best Record Stores in Chicago“. 

12. Val’s Halla Records

Val’s Halla Recods’s history is as unusual as its name. Opened in 1972, the stores had two different Chicago locations. Val Camilletti founded the store in the exact location as a failed chain store. She built her staff of volunteers, and a Chicago legend was born.

Val’s Halla is an inclusive space. The store strives to draw in every kind of music lover and to blend generations, races, and backgrounds. The shop values community creation more than sales.

Val’s Halla accepts trades, donations, and sales. The store accepts:

  • Vinyl LPs
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Cassettes

The store participates in annual events open to the community, including:

  • Record Store Day
  • What’s Blooming on Harrison
  • Halla-Palooza
  • Black Friday

Make sure you check out the Elvis shrine during your visit.

  • Address: 239 Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 708-524-1004
  • Website: https://valshallarecords.com/
  • Hours: Thursday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

13. Dave’s Records

Dave’s is the most streamlined store on this list. While many other shops carry cassettes, CDs, and accessories, Dave’s sells vinyl and only vinyl. However, their record selection is comprehensive. Every conceivable variety of vinyl is represented at Dave’s, including:

  • 7 inches
  • 10 inches
  • 12-inch singles
  • EPs
  • LPs

The store carries every genre of music available. The inventory changes often; Dave’s is always buying used records from customers. The store has a rotating daily inventory of 40,000 titles.

Dave’s is happy to accept customer email requests both in and out of Chicago. Chances are, the shop has the record you’re looking for.

  • Address: 2604 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois
  • Phone: 773-929-6325
  • Website: https://www.facebook.com/davesrecordschicago/
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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