6 Cool Chicago Record Shops (Vinyl Isn't Dead!)

With streaming music sources like Spotify and Pandora, who even listens to the real radio anymore? Sure, we dig convenience (and customization) just as much as the next person, but there's something to be said for being able to hold on to a tangible source of our tunes — and no, your iPod doesn't count. While CDs and cassette tapes (hello, Debbie Gibson!) may not resurface too often, records have still managed to retain their cool factor. Seriously — what could be more awesome than listening to scratchy old school sounds?
But you need not go on eBay to scour some old Cat Stevens. In fact, Chicago has plenty of opps for picking up some vinyl fun. And if you don't own a player, you'll find that, too. Ahead, six of our top picks for spinning your afternoon away.
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Gramaphone Records

This shop isn't some newbie hipster joint. In fact, it has been a premium source for DJs and the music obsessed since 1969. From drum and bass and downtempo to house/techno and hip hop, you'll find it all here. Who knows? You just might spot one of Chicago's top spin masters trolling the aisles.

Gramaphone Records, 2843 North Clark Street (between Broadway Street and Diversey Parkway); 773-472-3683.
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Logan Hardware

Not only does this Logan Square shop have a well-edited selection of vinyl spanning numerous decades, it also serves as an arcade museum. That's right, in-between browsing through Bacharach, you can play a number of old school games for free! Seriously, you can spend an entire afternoon at this little gem of a time warp — guilty as charged.

Logan Hardware, 2410 West Fullerton Avenue (between Western and Artesian Avenues); 773-235-5030.
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Dusty Groove America

If you can't find it here, you may not find it anywhere. For reals, we're diggin' the rare collection of tunes — including some imported fun from Turkey, Brazil, Africa, and other destos all over the globe. Want to check out an album before making a commitment? Just ask one of the staff members and they'll give it a spin for you.

Dusty Groove America, 1120 North Ashland Avenue (between Haddon Avenue and Thomas Street); 773-342-5800.
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Dave's Records

While some record shops carry other forms of music, Dave's tells it to you straight with a sign on the door that reads: "No CDs! Never had 'em, never will!" With over 40,000 titles to choose from (new, used, and in all sizes), Dave himself is a bonafide vinyl enthusiast with over 25 years of retail record experience — which is obvious once you peruse his awesome selection.

Dave's Records, 2604 North Clark Street (between Wrightwood Avenue and Drummond Place); 773-929-6325.
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This fun mom-and-pop shop is known for its decent prices, great variety of vinyl tunes (as well as some pretty cool books and 'zines), and helpful staff. If you're lucky, you might wind up being there on a day when there's a free musical performance.

Saki, 3716 West Fullerton Avenue (between Lawndale and Ridgeway Avenue); 773-486-3997.
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Reckless Records

In biz since 1989, Reckless has grown into three locations, all filled with a dazzling array of music (even non-vinyl) spanning multiple genres. For those looking for a trip back to their childhood, check out the fun video game selection. Atari love anyone?

Reckless Records, 3 Chicagoland locations in Lakeview, Wicker Park, and the Loop. Addresses listed online.