3. Academy Records, Manhattan

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Academy Records, whose original store is located in Chelsea, is known for  the savvy of its staff, a formidable collection of classical records, and according to NY Mag, its “musically fluent shoppers.” Opened in 1977 as a bookstore, Academy Records was transformed into a music collection by employee Joseph NaGun.

The Flatiron store is an unexpected find amidst the Chase, H&M and Zara located on the same block. They have an impressive collection of jazz, pre-classical, and classical, as well as a pretty solid movie selection there. If you are looking for hip hop, their East Village post is the better place to go.