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Hey all - it’s been ten years since I’ve been to Chicago and I’m heading back in a few weeks. I’ve done a lot of research, but also curious as to recommendations from VC on record stores for used hardcore/punk/indie, vegan food, bars, and other fun stuff to do.


Also, is the Numero Group store worth checking out? It’s a bit out of the way and I’ll only be in Chicago for three full days, but one of those will be a Friday when it’s open.

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I usually spend a lot of time in Wicker Park when I'm visiting, so the Reckless Records in Wicker Park is always a must. I was actually there last week for like 20 mins and spent $125 easily on used hardcore records. I've only been to the Lakeview location once, but found some excellent stuff there, too. Bric a Brac is a cool eclectic store, too. I think the only other place I've been to that's still open is Shuga... the prices there were craaazy. 

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I've been to Chicago a few times and here's what I'd recommend :


I really like Bucket of Blood as well, it's very close to Meteor Gem (like a block away).   I second checking out Reckless records.  I didn't think the one by Millennium Park was all that exciting, but the other two were great!


For vegan food, here's a short list of places I liked - Handlebar, Flying Saucer, Kitchen 17 (vegan deep dish place), Chicago Diner.  Native Foods is good too if you're looking for some fast food (think Veggie Grill).


I didn't make it to too many bars, but I went to quite a few breweries both trips and am happy to suggest some too.

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Posted (edited)

Reckless usually keeps their online inventory pretty current (or used to anyway), so if there’s things you are looking for, that can help you figure out which of their locations have it. 



If you like hardcore, definitely hit up Kuma’s for a burger. I’ve only been to the Belmont location but there’s a few others I think. 


Edited by dawhizz
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On 7/3/2023 at 11:02 AM, phillybhatesme said:

Meteor Gem on Elston is owned and run by @se7enstitches and is an amazing stop for metal and ‘core. 

Meteor Gem is absolutely fantastic. Last time I was in Chicago, I spent about an hour talking about how fucking amazing Gaerea is, and walked out with about three new bands I'd never heard before. Great selection, great people, and as an added bonus, Kuma's is not far away either. 

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20 hours ago, Willow_Tree_Records said:

This is all awesome - thanks, all. Is there anything else in the Wicker Park area worth checking out? I wanted to try both Handlebar and Kitchen 17 so I’m glad they are both around good record stores. 

There’s tons and tons of shops, bars, and restaurants there. Right across from Reckless is Emporium, which is a fun barcade. You’ll def find a lot of stuff walking down Milwaukee Ave. 

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