A Mapped Guide To Philly’s 13 Best Record Stores | Philly Views

A Mapped Guide To Philly’s 13 Best Record Stores

A Mapped Guide To Philly’s 13 Best Record Stores

By Bernie Rodgers

Philadelphia record stores have a seemingly endless selection of physical music, from old school cassette tapes to classic vinyl records and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for an iconic album or you’re digging through the crates for a cult favorite, Philly has what you need.

If you want to kick your feet up and lounge on office chairs as you scan through a selection, this city has a record store for you. In others, you can check out the occasional live show held right in the shop or in the basement beneath. One Philly record shop operates an indie record label out of its storefront. And, aside from physical music itself, there’s also merchandise galore from band tees to artist pins.

From mom-and-pop record shops to mega-stores, Philadelphia has a remarkable range of locations offering throwback staples to the most recent releases. There’s no reason for you to be bored with your music since fresh artists are a trip away.

We’ve kick-started off the year with a non-ranked list of the best places for you to grab your favorite record, or even discover a few new artists.

These are the best record shops in Philadelphia:

1. Repo Records

506 South St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Phone: 2156273775

Centered in one of the city’s most iconic art scenes, this South Street record shop has an amazing selection of vinyl records, tapes, and CDs. If you’re looking for anything from Björk’s recent record to Joy Division’s debut classic, this is the spot for you. Also, this record store is known to have a variety of amazing merchandise, like Madonna pins and Solange posters.

2. Philadelphia Record Exchange

1524 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125
Phone: 2154254389

This record shop has been a hallmark of Philadelphia for the past 33 years. Recently, it moved from right off South Street to a cozy storefront on Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue. It also specializes in local music, with a collection of records by local artists you wouldn’t discover anywhere else.

3. Main Street Music

4444 Main St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19127
Phone: 2154877732

If you’re willing to make the hike out to Manayunk’s Main Street, then there’s a treasure waiting in this record store. Main Street Music sports a collection of records from classic throwbacks to recent debuts. It’s most notorious for frequently hosting shows in-store, which isn’t something you’ll find at every independently-owned record shop.

4. Long In The Tooth

2027 Sansom St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
Phone: 2155691994

If the name of this Rittenhouse shop hasn’t already convinced you to check it out, then hopefully this description will. This Center City record shop focuses mainly on punk and indie rock records, but it also has an amazing jazz collection, too. Also, there is a selection of used book available on display. Yet, the cherry on top of it all is the store’s mascot: a dog  named Jugend you can find strolling through the aisles.

5. Beautiful World Syndicate

1619 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
Phone: 2154670401

This South Philly record shop has a remarkably up-to-date selection. The owners are sure to bring in new releases each week. If you’re dying to buy an album that dropped last week, then this is the shop that’s sure to have it.

6. The Record Spot

7136 Torresdale Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19135
Phone: 2153315537

This spot is a rare find. Located in Northeast Philly, this record store offers a quaint, at-home atmosphere while also possessing a remarkable number of records. If you’re on a budget, then this is the place for you. About 99 percent of the records found here cost less than four dollars.

7. Creep Records

1050 N Hancock Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123
Phone: 2672392037

Now, this shop has a unique facet. While it functions as a record store toting indie rock, hip-hop, and punk, it also serves as an independent label for Philly artists. Come check this location out if you want to both support your favorite artists and support local ones, too.

8. R&D Vinyl

1504 S 6th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
Phone: 2675715666

This South Philadelphia record store has a very casual, laid back feel. Avoiding the pretentious, upturned-nose record shop worker stereotype, the people here make you feel like you’re at home. This atmosphere is enhanced by the scattered couches to lounge and listen on.

9. Brewerytown Beats

2710 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Phone: 2673147661

This aptly-named Brewerytown location has a distinct, large variety of vinyl records and CDs. If you have a specific record you’ve been hunting down for years, then you’re likely to find it here. Also, come enjoy their listening stations, where you can chill out and relax to your favorite releases.

10. BridgeSet Sound

710 South St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Phone: 2675074350

If an instrument store, music school, and record shop had a love child, then this is the baby. With a much more condensed selection, this location also serves as a place to buy instruments themselves. The shop workers know their stuff, so feel free to spark a passionate conversation that could last the whole day.

11. Wild Mutation Records

2223 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125
Phone: 2154255066

If you’re obsessed with tight organization and order, then this Philly record shop is perfect for you. Rather than churning through random records scattered in a shelf, this shop places each record in a rigid order. Arranged by both genre and alphabetical order, you’ll be sure to find any record in no time with no help.

12. Sit & Spin Records

2243 S Lambert St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19145
Phone: 2677738345

If you weren’t aware this shop existed, you could almost walk right past it. This tiny location has an interesting assortment of records, merchandise, and  cassette tapes. Feel free to buy a black metal beer cozy and also grab some vintage clothes for sale in the basement.

13. Noise Pollution Records

619 S 4th St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147
Phone: 2156277264

Last but never least, this record shop is completely punk-centric. Although it may be a little disorganized, its haphazard layout stays true to the anarchist spirit of punk music. If you’d like to just scan the selection with nothing particularly in mind, then you might just find a gem hidden in the muck.

3 Comments

The fact that Vinyl Altar was left off this list is a tragedy

Sounds like the author buys their records at Urban Outfitters…

Do not leave out Shady Dog Records in Berwyn, PA.

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Bernie Rodgers

Bernie Rodgers is an English major at the University of Pennsylvania. When he’s not riding his bike home to South Philly, he can be found reading Jack Kerouac or stalking through the Mütter Museum.

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Repo Records
Philadelphia Record Exchange
Main Street Music
Long In The Tooth
Beautiful World Syndicate
The Record Spot
Creep Records
R&D Vinyl
Brewerytown Beats
BridgeSet Sound
Wild Mutation Records
Sit & Spin Records
Noise Pollution Records