Anyone who has resided in or visited Pittsburgh knows that there is a certain vintage atmosphere that goes along with the city’s industrial roots.
Along with the steel bridges that offer a nod to the city’s history as America’s steel manufacturing center, this old school vibe is carried into the many record stores that spot the city. Whether you be a young yinzer with a passion for old tech or a visitor looking to grasp the essence of the Steel City in just a few days, then stop into the record stores below.
If you know a person who matches the descriptions above, a thoughtful gift would be a GiftYa to one of the stores below. Even though these are independent businesses that don’t have gift cards of your own, GiftYa’s personalized gift certificates work at almost every business. It’ll show your favorite record junkie that you listen when they talk about their latest finds — at least, sort of.
With stacks on stacks of records, Jerry’s has just about every genre, and maybe even every record, under the sun.
2136 Murray Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
If you’re a record enthusiast living in Pittsburgh, you likely already know about this place. Better than well-stocked, with entire rooms for some genres of music, this legendary record store was run by Jerry Weber since the early 90s before changing hands in 2017 There’s a good reason Jerry’s was named one of the best record stores in the United States by Rolling Stone. Be warned — cash only!
“Behold the Holy Grail of Vinyl! If you're a native Pittsburgher like me you've grown up with Jerry's and know how special it is. If you're new to town, visiting or just starting to collect vinyl this is the place for you. Hours and hours of joy and fun can be spent looking through almost any and all records ever made. I always say if Jerry's doesn't have it then no one does.” — Karla D. on Yelp
Some of the best organization in the record-selling business.
513 Grant Ave
Millvale, PA 15209
True to its name, Attic Record Store tends to be a bit cramped, but this is only because it happens to be chock-full of a wide variety of records. Never fear, though — these records are meticulously organized, though you may have to contort a bit to reach them. They’re also reasonably priced, and you even get a discount if you use cash.
“One word — AMAZING! I shop for used LPs all over the country. I've never seen a collection this large, well organized, and fairly priced based on the quality. I could have spent an entire day browsing, but after just one genre I had enough to fill a small box. Can't wait to come back on my next trip through Pittsburgh.” - David T. on Yelp
Juke Records specializes in new vinyls, though they also have a collection of used.
4526 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
If you want to visit Juke Records, you’d better do it soon because they are scheduled to close before the summer of 2019. The good news is that in an effort to sell their inventory, they’re having a massive sale: new vinyl is 30 percent off, and used vinyl is 50 percent off. The bad news is that this shop has been a staple of Pittsburgh record shopping, and all record enthusiasts will be sad to see it go.
“The best selection of new LPs at a great price. The used selection is curated well and very affordable. I love the vibe and I am so happy to have this store in my neighborhood.” - Jaren L. on Yelp
Decorated cheerily with local art, green paint, and red drapes.
3138 Dobson St
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Although it’s one of the cutest record stores on this list, don’t be fooled by the soft lighting or cozy second-floor location — Cruel Noise Records specializes in punk, funk, grunge, rock, and miscellaneous weird music. It’s not a huge collection like Jerry’s or the Attic, but the current owner John Villegas takes care to maintain a unique, fresh selection to keep his unique clients satisfied.
“One of my favorite record stores in the nation. Doesn't need to be huge because of how good the stock is. every time I go there, I walk with at least 1 amazing item. John is super friendly and knowledgeable about all the music in his shop. Prices can't be beat either, beyond affordable. Go there now!!” - Andrew K. on Yelp
The best of both worlds.
929 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
It’s difficult to think of a better collision of media — two old-fashioned, but enduring forms of entertainment in the same store. Though you might go to Amazing Books & Records for the fantastic record collection, why not dig through their carefully curated selection of used books as well? Ideally, the two can be enjoyed together.
“If you dig deep enough, you will find a treasure vinyl. That is 98% of the fun. The other two percent, freezing, pricing and waiting in line. Thanks for the great EW&F record.” - Warren I. on Yelp
The beautiful organization and bountiful selection of Get Hip.
1800 Columbus Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Sprouting out of the expertise of the record label Get Hip Recordings, the store Get Hip Records is relatively little known by record enthusiasts in Pittsburgh, where it can be easy to be overshadowed by collections like Jerry’s or the Attic. Despite its lack of popularity, Get Hip is one of the most expertly curated record collections in the Steel City, run by popular guitarist Gregg Kostelich.
Because of the contacts he has from being in the industry, Get Hip has records from around the world, but also makes an effort to promote local bands. The walls display local art, and the store regularly hosts album releases for local artists.
“It's music to my ears because this record store is the absolute best of the best! It's paradise for vinyl lovers. Whether you're a new collector or lifelong, they have what you need. Hard-to-find, rare, classic pressings as well as newer recordings. I could spend hours just looking at all of the albums and learning more about music that I love as well as bands and singers I don't know tons about. This is really just a fun shop that carries so much history, art and joy in the form of vinyl. Even if you're a modest collector you have to give yourself the pleasure of enjoying all that Get Hip has to offer.” - Karla D. on Yelp
The stately front of Caliban Books matches the inside.
410 S Craig St
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Though Caliban Book Shop is first and foremost a rare book store, they also have a small showing of records — perhaps not impressive in size, but still as carefully curated as the rest of the store. To walk into the store is to walk into an older time — aged books stacked as high as the eye can see, some even overflowing onto the floor, antique wooden shelves, and, of course, old records.
“Eclectic and wonderfully curated collection of books, records, magazines, anthologies, post cards, etc. that doesn't seem as curated as it is and always smells like the best of old books. Everyone that works there is super friendly and I always leave with a good recommendation. They also buy good books, rare books, old books.”
Dorsey’s is a family affair, run by Neil and Marcus Dorsey.
7614 Frankstown Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
A staple in the Homewood community since 1946, Dorsey’s is easily one of the longest-standing record stores in Pittsburgh — and that’s saying something. The shop specializes in gospel, R&B, and jazz, as well as having a significant collection of old-school hip hop. Plus, they offer analog-to-digital conversion services, like VHS to DVD or LP to CD.
“Neil and Marcus are awesome! When I think of the best family owned business ever, Dorsey's is clearly at the top of my list. It's like visiting with family. You can listen to smooth jazz, Rap, Old School R&B and Christmas music while you shop. I have even been able to listen to a sample of the music before I bought it. Neil and Marcus are always helpful and make the best music suggestions.” - P.G. on Yelp
Finding that one perfect record for cheap is a unique and euphoric feeling, and nowhere is it easier to do than Pittsburgh’s plentiful and well-stocked record stores. So, next time you find yourself crossing over those steel bridges, remember to visit one of the spots above — you can thank me later.