New Yorkers love their tattoos. In the Big Apple, when you take the subway or take a stroll through Central Park wearing a tattoo, you become a piece of moving art. You automatically contribute to the character and charm of the city. Even visitors to NYC love to leave here with a permanent memory. Getting a tattoo is the best way to walk away with a life-long souvenir.
This is the same art form that gave rise to another very cool street art graffiti.
New York’s history with tattooing goes back to the late 1870s when Martin Hildebrandt set up the first tattoo shop on Oak Street, located under the Brooklyn Bridge. Unfortunately, tattooing remained illegal in the Big Apple until 1997. But places like the Bowery kept tattooing alive, eventually helping define a special style. Today almost 50 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 are tattooed.
How did we decide on the best tattoo studios in New York City?
This guide will help you find your perfect moving art. These are tattoo studios with top reviews from customers. Do not let this be the only way to finalize your decision. We’ve listed several ways below to help you make an informed choice.
Visit the tattoo studios’ Instagram page
Inking is an art. What better way to decide if you like a studio’s designs than by looking at their Insta images? Look for the images you want to get. Do you like what you see?
Create a list of tattoo studios near you. Then devise a list of questions you would like answered. Closely examine the studio’s FAQ section to get a better understanding. Don’t forget to look at the services they offer.
Visit all the studios on your list.
Make it a point to visit all the studios on your list and ask all your questions. There are many studios that take ‘ time-saving’ techniques to save time and money. You wouldn’t want someone to do that with you. It is vital for you to visit the studio in person and speak to the artists working there. In addition, examine the studio itself. Is it clean and organized? Are they using the right tools? Do the customers seem happy?
Look at the artists’ portfolios
Have a close look at their portfolio. Get a consultation. While speaking to artists at different studios, you will get a feel for a studio that just feels right.
Check online reviews
Facebook and Google are excellent places to get ratings and reviews about tattoo studios near you in NYC. Closely examine both positive and negative reviews.
Best Tattoo Shops In NYC
Now that you are well-versed in how to find a reliable tattoo design studio, it’s time to find out which studios are the best in New York City. Let’s get started! Get inked up: New York City is home to the world’s top tattoo shops and artists.
1. Bang Bang Tattoo
Best for the celebrity treatment! Bang Bang is considered one of the most successful tattoo artists in the industry.
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bangbangnyc
- Location: 328 Broome Street & 62 Grand Street
- Cross street: Between Bowery and Chrystie St
This is one of the most popular and famous tattoo studios in the Big Apple. Several gifted and talented artists from around the globe work in this honored place. In fact, the studio is so well-known that they’ve set up shop in two locations- SoHo and Chinatown. More than thirty artists work at Bang Bang Tattoo to design some of the dazzling tattoos in the city. Artist Dez is the most sought-after tattooist in NYC. Bang Bang Tattoo has a strong Instagram following of over two million fans.
Why Bang Bang? The studio has artists that create unique styles. Some design realistic tattoos, while others are talented at lettering and portraits of famous people. The studio is also recognized for being the most hygienic and clean in the city.
At Bang Bang, they warmly welcome walk-ins. However, if you want a particular artist, you will have to book an appointment. For customers’ convenience, appointments can be made on their website, by phone, or via email.
The New York-based artist is credited for creating some of the most iconic tattoos on celebrities. Like fashion model Cara Delevingne’s simple yet eye-catching lion tattoo that sits on her index finger. And pop star Rihanna’s henna design that wraps across her wrist and drips down her fingertips.
In fact, it was Bang Bang’s work of art for Rihanna in 2007, when he was just 19 years old, that helped to catapult his career.
2. Village Tattoo
- Website: www.villagetattoonyc.com
- Location: 175 Bleecker Street
Village Tattoo is a premium studio, located in the center of NYC. They have a roster filled with highly talented and skilled tattoo artists. They are able to create exceptional designs. During your consultation, the artist will take the time to answer your questions, listen to your needs, and transform your wishes into an elegant design.
What sets this studio apart is its ability to create a wide range of designs, from modern to traditional. Their specialty is Japanese designs, tribal, memorial, skull, lettering, animals, and fish.
You can rest assured that Village Tattoo follows required health and safety regulations. The studio is tidy, neat, and well-organized. After getting inked, Village Tattoo will thoroughly inform you about aftercare instructions to follow at home.
Besides Tattoos and Piercings, Village Tattoo NYC has a wide collection of high-end and casual silver rings, pendants, bangles, necklaces, bracelets.
3. Daredevil Tattoo – Best Tattoo shops in NYC
Daredevil Tattoo opened in 1997 when tattooing was legalized in NYC. We feature several artists working in all different styles of tattooing.
There are no restrictions on the size or type of tattoo you get. Their artists and clients are protected throughout the pandemic.
The shop has been equipped with a ventilation system that circulates fresh air.
With their online booking process, they are able to schedule same-day appointments for custom work. To see current work from our artists, please visit their website or Instagram account @daredeviltattoo.
- Address: 141 Division St, New York, NY 10002, United States
- Website: daredeviltattoo.com
- Social: facebook.com/daredeviltattoo/
4. Three Kings Tattoo
- Website: https://www.threekingstattoo.com/brooklyn
- Location: 572 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn
In business since 2008, Three Kings Tattoo is a reliable and reputable tattoo studio in NYC. They have locations in Long Island as well as Los Angeles. At Three Kings Tattoo, twenty world-famous artists work to create some of the most unique and memorable tattoo designs. The studio specializes in tribal, Polynesian, grey and black, and traditional designs. Guest artists from different parts of the world visit the studio to learn about different tattooing techniques and designs from them.
Three Kings Tattoo prides itself on creating a pleasant and comfortable experience for every client. Every design is created in collaboration between the client and the artist. This ensures that each client receives an exclusive piece of art.
Three Kings happily welcome walk-in clients every day. They are famous for their custom tattooing skills. Some of their specialties include colorwork, fantasy, memorials, dragons, cartoons, geometric designs, skulls, swans, and wildlife.
5. Grit N Glory
A New York City-based Rock N Roll boutique and tattoo studio in the Lower East Side and home to another tattoo shop specializing in color tattoos.
With Megan Massacre, renowned tattoo artist and TV personality, we are a one-of-a-kind lifestyle spot. Combining specialty custom artwork, style, culture, girl power, and rock n roll vibes.
They have specialists for each style of tattooing, and all designs are created specifically for you, the client.
Megan Massacre joined Grit N Glory in 2014 in the Lower East Side NYC by joining two long-time friends who had opened the shop in 2011.
Price: $250–$400 per hour
6. Studio 28 Tattoos
- Website: https://www.studio28tattoosnyc.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/threekingstattoo/
- Location: 108 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor
This is a famous NYC piercing and tattoo studio. Studio 28 offers some of the best custom-designed tattoo designs and quality piercing services to customers.
The studio is home to very friendly and talented artists. They are individuals who are passionate about their work. In fact, they are committed to customer satisfaction with every tattoo they create. Staff is happy to offer free consultation and discuss all your tattooing needs and concerns.
Studio 28 Tattoos specializes in elite craftsmanship. They can create a wide range of designs such as horror, Japanese, cover-up, and custom. Studio 28 Tattoos are renowned for their memorials, portraits, fantasy, florals, old school, Haida, and tribal tattoos. In addition, the studio provides a beautiful range of high-end, luxury jewelry designs. These are imported from renowned manufacturers.
Price: Starts at $150 and an hourly rate of $220
7. Kings Avenue
- Website: kingsavenuetattoo.com
- Location: 188 Bowery
The first Kings Avenue tattoo studio opened its doors in Long Island, in 2005 with the famous tattoo artist Mike Rubendall at its helm. The second shop was opened on 188 Bowery in 2011, in Manhattan.
Kings Avenue specializes in American and Japanese traditional designs. In addition, the studio features a roster of famous and talented artists like Justin Weatherholtz, Mike Rubendall, and Grez, to name a few. Some of their notable customers are Kat Von D. and Tim Hendricks. You may easily view their beautiful portfolio online.
You can try to enter as a walk-in customer if there’s any artist available to work with you, but the only 100% secure way to get a spot is to get in touch ahead of time.
Price: Deposits starting at $100, hourly $250 up
8. Club Inked Tattoos
Club Inked Tattoos & Piercings is a locally owned and operated tattoo and piercing parlor operating out of Brooklyn, NY and serving the surrounding areas. They specialize in realism, portrait, black & gray, and more.
- Website: club-inked-tattoos-piercings
- Address: 1556 Myrtle Ave Brooklyn, NY 11237 United States
- Social: clubinkedtattoos/
9. Black Fish Tattoo
The studio of Black Fish Tattoo has been providing top-quality tattoos in Midtown Manhattan for more than 20 years. Original artwork and designs are provided free of charge by veteran tattoo artist Kevin Jang.
The artist specializes in realistic tattoo images and can tattoo any style.
- Website: blackfishtattoo.com
- Address: 39 W 32nd St Ste 1205, Fl 12 New York, NY 10001 United States
- Social: facebook.com/Blackfishtattoo/
10. New York Adorned
In addition to Japanese and Americana tattoos, New York Adorned also does blackwork. Various world-renowned artists are permanent staff members or guests at New York Adorned. The tattoo artists at New York Adorned are all highly-trained with decades of international experience.
Established in 1996 by Lori Leven before the ban on tattooing was lifted in NYC, New York.
- Website: nyadorned.com
- Address: 269 Elizabeth St Love Adorned New York, NY
- Social: @NEWYORKADORNED ON INSTAGRAM
11. East River Tattoo
Located on Brooklyn’s historic Greenpoint waterfront, East River Tattoo was founded by Duke Riley in the summer of 2000.
East River Tattoo specializes in high-quality custom tattoo designs in a variety of styles influenced heavily by maritime folk art and 19th-century traditional tattooing, which often evoke nautical charts, woodcuts, engravings, and scrimshaw.
In addition to offering high-quality custom tattoo designs, East River Tattoo often incorporates nautical folk art and traditional tattooing techniques from the 19th century such as wood cuts, engravings, and scrimshaw.
Appointment only on weekdays. Walk-ins welcome for flash art on weekends. $150 minimum, hourly rates start at $300.
- Website: eastrivertattoo.com
- Address: 1047 Manhattan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11222 United States
- Social: Facebook
12. Sacred Tattoo NYC
The tattoo artist roster at Sacred Tattoo consists of a wide range of styles including black/gray / color realism, traditional / neo-traditional, Japanese, and intricate and detailed line-work-based tattoos.
Sacred Tattoo is one of New York City’s oldest shops, at the intersection of Manhattan’s most iconic neighborhoods, Soho, Chinatown, Tribeca, and Little Italy since 1990.
From small letter tattoos to full-body pieces, they offer a wide range of tattoos.
Established in 1990. Sacred Tattoo has been home to innovative artists, the set of numerous TV shows, and hosted gallery exhibits for over 25 years.
- Website: sacredtattoo.com
- Address: 424 Broadway Fl 2 New York, NY 10013 United States
- Social: facebook.com/SacredTattooStudio/
Planning to visit or move to New York City? A tattoo is the most memorable and special souvenir you can get. Tattoos are considered a popular form of art in New York. The city boasts close to 300 tattoo studios, spread out in five boroughs. When you are visiting the city and want to get a tattoo, consider the twelve tattoo places we’ve recommended. You’ll walk away with a beautiful tattoo and an extraordinary experience.
How much does a tattoo cost in NYC?
Tattoos can cost anywhere from a minimum of $100 to upwards of $20.000 in NYC. However, the artist determines the final cost. A tattoo’s price is influenced by factors such as the size, complexity, the part of the body that is being tattooed, and the artist’s reputation.
When Can I get a Tattoo in New York?
The New York State Penal Law states that people over 18 can get tattoos without parental consent, whereas minors under 18 cannot get tattoos, regardless of parental consent.
Why was tattooing illegal in New York?
In 1961, tattooing was banned but was legalized again in 1997. A hepatitis B outbreak was cited as the official cause of the ban, but some historians think that it was a result of the 1964 New York World’s Fair preparations. There is also a theory that a tattoo artist’s wife is the target of a vendetta by a police officer.