10 Philly Record Stores to Feed Your Vinyl Habit
From music-lover mainstays to niche genre havens, dig through the crates at these essential spots.
Vinyl has made such a resurgence in recent years that it is now the music industry’s highest-selling physical format. And while that might seem strange in a world where you can stream the totality of music from a device in your pocket, it makes perfect sense. There is something special — intimate, even — about picking out a cherished LP (and actually paying for it), holding it in your hands, feeling the grooves of each favorite song, and experiencing a full album in the complete sequence the artist intended.
With Record Store Day coming up, it’s the perfect time to fire up your turntable, flip through some crates and stock up on new tunes and old favorites. Whether you’re seeking out obscure and impossible-to-find records or brand-new pop releases, these independent Philly record stores are well worth a visit.
Repo’s original owner Dan Matherson still works there most days, and he’s been at it for 35 years now. This beloved South Street stalwart has a massive and well-organized inventory of records, from classic rock to new releases (our most recent haul included both David Bowie’s Station to Station and Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia). There’s a dedicated local music section right when you walk in, which definitely wins the store some bonus points in our book. Feeling lucky? Head to the back to search through disorganized boxes of (mostly) used budget records ranging from $1-$5. Repo also buys used records, CDs and tapes – they recommend calling or emailing in advance if you’re planning on selling yours.
506 South Street.
This longtime Fishtown spot is known for their killer combo of an eclectic selection at reasonable prices, all housed in an old-school, music-first environment. Go here if you want to spend some time digging for records in comfort — it’s not always the most organized, but you’re likely to find something new if you put in the work. An added bit of trivia: The Roots used to play outside the store back in the 80s.
1524 Frankford Avenue.
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This Manayunk shop’s got a great selection, whether you’re an audiophile looking for used vinyl, rare reissues or deluxe box sets. They also carry a large selection of CDs, if you’re looking for that. Owner Pat Feeney opened Main Street Music back in 1991, and has maintained a loyal customer base that keep coming back for the expertise and community the store offers.
4444 Main Street.
This Rittenhouse record store feels like it’s been around longer than the mid-2000s, because it’s already become a mainstay. They have a great selection of out-of-print books alongside the packed and varied music inventory; and they buy used vinyl for store credit, so it’s the perfect place to keep your vinyl habit fed. They order new stock every day, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, owner Nick will work try to find it for you.
2027 Sansom Street.
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In 2017, Common Beat took over the Baltimore Avenue location long held by Marvelous Records, and they’ve kept the music playing in West Philly. In addition to records, this shop is also a source for instruments, used gear, and even turntables to play your purchases on, if you’re just getting into vinyl. Need your equipment or guitar fixed? They do that too. If you’re strictly looking for music, you’ll find everything from used classics to obscure limited editions to new releases here. They also buy used records and equipment. It’s basically every audiophile’s dream.
4916 Baltimore Avenue.
Okay, this place can be a little chaotic to dig through. It’s small, disorganized, it can feel like you stumbled into a music hoarder’s hideaway. But it is also an experience, and the prices are pretty low for what is an extensive — if unruly —used collection.
525 West Girard Avenue.
Philly has a special place in the history of soul music, and Brewerytown Beats owner Max Orchester holds that legacy — and genre — in high esteem. In addition to running his shop, Orchester is co-distributor for Jamie/Guyden Records, one of the most prominent Philly soul labels dating back to the ‘50s. Unsurprisingly, then, Brewerytown Beats has an unparalleled selection of soul, funk, and hip hop along with your basic classic rock and used vinyl.
1517 North Bailey Street.
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You’ll find both niche metal shops in this Queen Village location known as the Reliquary. Don’t come here looking for mainstream pop or rock: With focuses on metal, goth and industrial music, you’re likely to find something at Digital Underground that you won’t find anywhere else. A devoted metal enthusiast, Vinyl Altar owner Christopher Mazeika sees his shop as a place for fellow fans to feel at home. In a 2015 interview with Decibel magazine, Mazeika explained of his then-new shop, “I tried to create a store and environment that I would love to shop in. When people come here for the first time and tell me that they’ve always dreamed of finding a store like this, that’s when I feel like I made the right choices.”
732 South 4th Street.
Another place to visit if you’re looking for metal — as well as punk — with lots of variety, especially in their used section. In addition to music, you’ll find memorabilia like band t-shirts, posters and jigsaw puzzles. Note: If you’re looking to sell within their niche, they’re selective in buying used records, but they pay well for them.
2243 South Lambert Street.
If you’re looking for hip hop, mainstream or underground, this is the place to go. They also carry jazz, funk, and some rock — plus a selection of used records you’ll want to be sure to peruse.
711 South 4th Street.
This guide contains additional reporting by Lauren McGrath.