clock menu more-arrow no yes

17 of the Best Tattoo Shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan

View as Map

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Finding a hairdresser who really gets you is hard enough, but locking down a tattoo artist who can turn your dream of a thigh-spanning tribute to your childhood pet guinea pig into reality? That's a relationship that requires trust. So, to simplify the process, we've rounded up the best tattoo shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan—from traditional parlors that traffic in sailor tats, to the spot where you're most likely to see Rihanna getting inked.

Read More

1. Inkstop Tattoo

Copy Link
209 Ave A
New York, NY 1009
(212) 995-2827
Visit Website
Simple, solid, reliable and classic — that’s the setting for one of the East Village’s realest real-deal tattoo shops. The no-frills space and unpretentious attitude make you feel instantly confident in the caliber of the artists here,which range from Eric Rignall’s mesmerizing grand-scale scenes (think war battles and ships at sea) and Eddie Carrero’s pin-ups to Jose Soto’s Japanese pieces and Ronen Bichacho’s dreamscapes and iconography. The shop has a minimum of $70, and charges $180 per hour for larger works.
Inkstop

2. North Star Tattoo

Copy Link
74 E 7th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-6724
Visit Website
Keep it simple at this shop that's become an East Village fixture. Not one to bend to trends, the parlor keeps things classic and true to the original edgy spirit of tattooing with a bare-bones interior, modest prices, and an emphasis on quality work. This is your go-to if you’re seeking something traditional: Anna Melo is your girl for flowers, animals, and global prints like Sanskrit; Rodrigo Melo does portraits and Japanese artwork; Dana Helmuth does incredible detailed, large-scale scenes; and Leandro Nascimbene shows an imaginative side with colorful characters and pin-ups.
via

3. NY Adorned

Copy Link
(212) 473-0007
Visit Website
Lori Leven also opened her shop before tattooing was legal, and New York Adorned has been on the rise ever since with a consistent cast of incredibly talented artists. Yoni Zilber’s unbelievably detailed exotic tattoos, Jase’s bold black art pieces, Kris Magnotti’s vibrant traditional works, and Dan Bythewood’s classic, colorful stunners are among the ink attracting the downtown set and earning the allegiance of fashion industry folks, all at a shop minimum of $100 and an hourly rate of $200. Bonus: you’ll be under the same roof as the shop’s popular piercing operation helmed by J. Colby Smith, as well as the jewelry line Love, Adorned.
NY Adorned

4. Kings Avenue Tattooing

Copy Link
188 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
(212) 431-5464
Visit Website
Kings Avenue Tattoo is noted for is incredibly clean presentation and patient, attentive staff. Previous patrons assure that after an extensive consultation, it's impossible to walk away with anything less than perfection. Brian Paul is recommended for tattoos that require small detail, and Kat Von D does stints a guest artist.
Kings Avenue Tattooing

5. Three Kings Tattoo Parlor

Copy Link
572 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 349-7755
Visit Website
Hypnotizing black and white landscapes, dreamy mythical motifs, stupefyingly realistic portraits, innovative fine art pieces. Whatever kind of tattoo you want, you can get it done (and amazingly so) at Three Kings. Since its 2008 opening, the shop has been a go-to for everyone from rockers to fashion VIPs, and its artists are often called upon to work at events and openings. Between its two locations, the shop has an impressive stable of 15 artists in addition to a rotation of the some of the world’s most respected tattooers. They take walk-ins seven days a week, but you might have to wait for star artists like Matt Marcus, Matt Bivetto, Myles Karr, Adam Machin, or Amy Shapiro. Rates are between $80 and $175 per hour.
Three Kings

6. Tattoo Culture

Copy Link
129 Roebling St.
New York, NY 11211
(718) 218-6532
Visit Website
Tattoo Culture is where to go to get the kinds of things you never dreamed could be permanently inked onto your skin. Joining resident artists Gene Coffey, Brian Wren, and George Bardadim is a constant rotation of visiting artists from around the world. Insanely detailed geometric motifs, museum-worthy watercolors, surrealist portraits — whether color or black-and-white, this shop serves up pieces that turn your body into a walking gallery. Keep an eye on the website to see who’s tattooing there at any given time and go from there with a consultation. Hourly rates range from $150 to $300.
Tattoo Culture

7. Saved Tattoo

Copy Link
426 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 486-0850
Visit Website
You'll find Scott Campbell at Saved, who's responsible for some of Marc Jacobs' ink. Among the rest of its talented artists are Chris O'Donnell, who's mastered vibrant color, and Seth Wood, who's your go-to-guy for a killer animal tat.

8. Clash City Tattoos

Copy Link
(917) 388-3371
Visit Website
This newcomer helmed by BAZ opened in August after his successful run things at New York Hardcore. BAZ has tattooed everyone from tourists to Tyson Beckford and is known for pitch-perfect work on traditional tats like pin-ups, skulls, and Americana (not to mention an Elvis specialty). Until a permanent team is established, the 16-year ink vet is keeping a rotation of standout guest artists, so it’s worth stopping in to see who’s there at the moment.
  • Open in Google Maps
  • 9. Fun City Tattoo

    Copy Link
    94 Saint Marks Pl
    New York, NY 10009
    (212) 353-8282
    Visit Website
    This is the real, gritty deal. It opened here in the 1980s — before tattooing was even legalized in New York — and the outlaw spirit has continued on even in its current, perfectly legal, squeaky-clean state. Its rebellious roots attracts some of the tattoo scene’s best artists — newbies and inked-up pros alike seek out Big Steve for his chameleon-like ability to tattoo flawlessly in any style, and Mina Aoki for her striking traditional pieces. The shop’s minimum is $100 and from there, tattoos will cost you a $200 hourly rate.
    Fun City

    10. Grit N Glory

    Copy Link
    186 Orchard St
    New York, NY 10002
    (212) 253-2775
    Visit Website
    Emily Conley and Veronica Cano’s Orchard Street shop was already serving as a rock-and-roll headquarters when it opened in 2011 with clothes, accessories, and home decor for the fashion-forward headbanger. But Grit N Glory stepped up its one-stop-shopping for rocker girls when tattoo artist Megan Massacre set up in the back in 2014. The celebrity artist holds down the fort with incredibly detailed tattoos in technicolored hues (her animal portraits are especially jaw-dropping) for a shop minimum of $200, and she's often joined by guest artists doing short-term stints.
    Grit N Glory

    11. White Rabbit Tattoo

    Copy Link
    121 Essex St
    New York, NY 10002
    (212) 228-1803
    Visit Website
    A departure from your typical tattoo shop — fluorescent lighting, lack of decor — White Rabbit is a stylish and well-appointed space with a taxidermy-and-chandelier theme that fits perfectly into its Lower East Side setting. The shop uses 100% vegan ink and products, and keeps it classy with tea and espresso on hand for clients. For a $150 shop minimum, you can get a crazy-detailed mandala or geometric design from Bradley, a boldly colored traditional piece from Cole, an incredibly realistic portrait from June, or an old-school flower or skull from Miles. You can even pick up vegan lotion on your way out to care for your ink.
    White Rabbit

    12. Sacred Tattoo

    Copy Link
    424 Broadway
    New York, NY 10013
    (212) 226-4286
    Visit Website
    You might recognize Sacred Tattoo’s space first: the huge loft has been the setting for tons of ink-related shows, like the cover-up magic of “America’s Worst Tattoos.” Owner Wes Wood is an NYC tattoo scene veteran who also owns a tattoo and piercing supply company, so you know your artists are working with the best stuff. Speaking of artists, you’ll have to join a wait list to get a slot with sought-after Rods Jimenez, who creates black monochrome masterpieces that look like they might come to life. There’s also Andy B., the go-to for pet portrait and Jon Mesa for colorful flora and fauna among the other talented staffers and guest tattooers, whose hourly rates falling between $200 and $250.
    Sacred Tattoo

    13. Smith Street Tattoo Parlour

    Copy Link
    411 Smith St
    Brooklyn, NY 11231
    (718) 643-0463
    Visit Website
    The Gowanus shop's niche is its traditional work. Artists Steve Boltz, Bert Krak, Daniel Santoro, and Eli Quinters create such flawless pieces that are so vibrantly colored and perfectly detailed that now the entire city and beyond knows where to go for tattoos in their most timeless sense. But don’t confuse classic with simple — these are works of art you’ll be glad you get to look at forever. And bonus: The team of artists is also loved for being nice, calm, and patient.
    via

    14. Electric Anvil

    Copy Link
    721 Franklin Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11238
    (718) 636-6360
    Having tattooed around the world, Josh Egnew developed a cult following in New York at Three Kings Tattoo before opening up his own shop earlier this year. The Crown Heights spot has already been getting rave reviews for its impeccably clean interior, chill vibes, and )most importantly) its artwork. Egnew brought on the equally talented and experienced artist Jeremy Sutton, and later Craig “Boxcar” Chazen joined the team. Together, the trio offer a range of black and white realism, color-saturated Japanese artwork, lively animal motifs, and trippy surrealist pieces that all start at a $100 shop minimum.
    Electric Anvil

    15. Black Square Tattoo

    Copy Link
    552 Grand St
    Brooklyn, NY 11211
    (718) 782-0238
    Visit Website
    Anton Zolotov set out to create an art project, not just a tattoo shop, when he opened Black Square in 2013. The space is meant to be a place to chill even if you’re not getting inked, with a selection of cool, under-the-radar zines (including a shop zine) and books. Zolotov recruited his tattooers based on their non-body art: Beyond permanently marking skin, each team member also creates fine art, from Louis Brengard and his traditional-yet-quirky black drawings like that much-Instagrammed Joan Didion tat and Noel Chanyungco and his haunting color pieces. All artists have a starting shop minimum of $80.
    Black Square

    16. Magic Cobra Tattoo Society

    Copy Link
    775 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
    Brooklyn, NY 11211
    (718) 782-8287
    Visit Website
    You may have heard talk about Magic Cobra Tattoo Society around any Friday the 13th, as the shop is usually one of the best places offering $13 flash sheets (the lines on these days are understandably never-ending). If you’ve got something specific in mind and a little more cash to spend, Adam Korothy does everything from pin-ups to trippy realist-meets-surrealist pieces, Kati Vaughn does vivid flowers and insects, and Woodz does grandiose scenes and intricate portraits. For these and other artists, the shop minimum is $80.
    Magic Cobra

    17. Meattt Inc.

    Copy Link
    184 Noll St
    Brooklyn, NY 11237
    (718) 417-4940
    Visit Website
    Tongue-in-cheek quirk, girl power, and incredibly unique ink is all at new kid on the block Meattt, Inc. Marina Heintze built her shop around the lighthearted view of the body as a “piece of meat,” styling its interior with an artsy Brooklyn take on a butcher shop and adding a gallery twist by making all the artwork on the walls for sale. For wearable art, Heintze serve up truly inspired tattoos that often capture a cheerful sense of humor —think bright palm trees, skeletons with pool toys and cartoon ghosts — for a shop minimum of $100.
    Meattt Inc.

    1. Inkstop Tattoo

    209 Ave A, New York, NY 1009
    Inkstop
    Simple, solid, reliable and classic — that’s the setting for one of the East Village’s realest real-deal tattoo shops. The no-frills space and unpretentious attitude make you feel instantly confident in the caliber of the artists here,which range from Eric Rignall’s mesmerizing grand-scale scenes (think war battles and ships at sea) and Eddie Carrero’s pin-ups to Jose Soto’s Japanese pieces and Ronen Bichacho’s dreamscapes and iconography. The shop has a minimum of $70, and charges $180 per hour for larger works.
    209 Ave A
    New York, NY 1009

    2. North Star Tattoo

    74 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003
    via
    Keep it simple at this shop that's become an East Village fixture. Not one to bend to trends, the parlor keeps things classic and true to the original edgy spirit of tattooing with a bare-bones interior, modest prices, and an emphasis on quality work. This is your go-to if you’re seeking something traditional: Anna Melo is your girl for flowers, animals, and global prints like Sanskrit; Rodrigo Melo does portraits and Japanese artwork; Dana Helmuth does incredible detailed, large-scale scenes; and Leandro Nascimbene shows an imaginative side with colorful characters and pin-ups.
    74 E 7th St
    New York, NY 10003

    3. NY Adorned

    47 2ND AVE NEW YORK, NY 10003
    NY Adorned
    Lori Leven also opened her shop before tattooing was legal, and New York Adorned has been on the rise ever since with a consistent cast of incredibly talented artists. Yoni Zilber’s unbelievably detailed exotic tattoos, Jase’s bold black art pieces, Kris Magnotti’s vibrant traditional works, and Dan Bythewood’s classic, colorful stunners are among the ink attracting the downtown set and earning the allegiance of fashion industry folks, all at a shop minimum of $100 and an hourly rate of $200. Bonus: you’ll be under the same roof as the shop’s popular piercing operation helmed by J. Colby Smith, as well as the jewelry line Love, Adorned.

    4. Kings Avenue Tattooing

    188 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
    Kings Avenue Tattooing
    Kings Avenue Tattoo is noted for is incredibly clean presentation and patient, attentive staff. Previous patrons assure that after an extensive consultation, it's impossible to walk away with anything less than perfection. Brian Paul is recommended for tattoos that require small detail, and Kat Von D does stints a guest artist.
    188 Bowery
    New York, NY 10012

    5. Three Kings Tattoo Parlor

    572 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY
    Three Kings
    Hypnotizing black and white landscapes, dreamy mythical motifs, stupefyingly realistic portraits, innovative fine art pieces. Whatever kind of tattoo you want, you can get it done (and amazingly so) at Three Kings. Since its 2008 opening, the shop has been a go-to for everyone from rockers to fashion VIPs, and its artists are often called upon to work at events and openings. Between its two locations, the shop has an impressive stable of 15 artists in addition to a rotation of the some of the world’s most respected tattooers. They take walk-ins seven days a week, but you might have to wait for star artists like Matt Marcus, Matt Bivetto, Myles Karr, Adam Machin, or Amy Shapiro. Rates are between $80 and $175 per hour.
    572 Manhattan Ave
    Brooklyn, NY

    6. Tattoo Culture

    129 Roebling St., New York, NY 11211
    Tattoo Culture
    Tattoo Culture is where to go to get the kinds of things you never dreamed could be permanently inked onto your skin. Joining resident artists Gene Coffey, Brian Wren, and George Bardadim is a constant rotation of visiting artists from around the world. Insanely detailed geometric motifs, museum-worthy watercolors, surrealist portraits — whether color or black-and-white, this shop serves up pieces that turn your body into a walking gallery. Keep an eye on the website to see who’s tattooing there at any given time and go from there with a consultation. Hourly rates range from $150 to $300.
    129 Roebling St.
    New York, NY 11211

    7. Saved Tattoo

    426 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
    You'll find Scott Campbell at Saved, who's responsible for some of Marc Jacobs' ink. Among the rest of its talented artists are Chris O'Donnell, who's mastered vibrant color, and Seth Wood, who's your go-to-guy for a killer animal tat.
    426 Union Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11211

    8. Clash City Tattoos

    New York, NY

    9. Fun City Tattoo

    94 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
    Fun City
    This is the real, gritty deal. It opened here in the 1980s — before tattooing was even legalized in New York — and the outlaw spirit has continued on even in its current, perfectly legal, squeaky-clean state. Its rebellious roots attracts some of the tattoo scene’s best artists — newbies and inked-up pros alike seek out Big Steve for his chameleon-like ability to tattoo flawlessly in any style, and Mina Aoki for her striking traditional pieces. The shop’s minimum is $100 and from there, tattoos will cost you a $200 hourly rate.
    94 Saint Marks Pl
    New York, NY 10009

    10. Grit N Glory

    186 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
    Grit N Glory
    Emily Conley and Veronica Cano’s Orchard Street shop was already serving as a rock-and-roll headquarters when it opened in 2011 with clothes, accessories, and home decor for the fashion-forward headbanger. But Grit N Glory stepped up its one-stop-shopping for rocker girls when tattoo artist Megan Massacre set up in the back in 2014. The celebrity artist holds down the fort with incredibly detailed tattoos in technicolored hues (her animal portraits are especially jaw-dropping) for a shop minimum of $200, and she's often joined by guest artists doing short-term stints.
    186 Orchard St
    New York, NY 10002

    11. White Rabbit Tattoo

    121 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
    White Rabbit
    A departure from your typical tattoo shop — fluorescent lighting, lack of decor — White Rabbit is a stylish and well-appointed space with a taxidermy-and-chandelier theme that fits perfectly into its Lower East Side setting. The shop uses 100% vegan ink and products, and keeps it classy with tea and espresso on hand for clients. For a $150 shop minimum, you can get a crazy-detailed mandala or geometric design from Bradley, a boldly colored traditional piece from Cole, an incredibly realistic portrait from June, or an old-school flower or skull from Miles. You can even pick up vegan lotion on your way out to care for your ink.
    121 Essex St
    New York, NY 10002

    12. Sacred Tattoo

    424 Broadway, New York, NY 10013
    Sacred Tattoo
    You might recognize Sacred Tattoo’s space first: the huge loft has been the setting for tons of ink-related shows, like the cover-up magic of “America’s Worst Tattoos.” Owner Wes Wood is an NYC tattoo scene veteran who also owns a tattoo and piercing supply company, so you know your artists are working with the best stuff. Speaking of artists, you’ll have to join a wait list to get a slot with sought-after Rods Jimenez, who creates black monochrome masterpieces that look like they might come to life. There’s also Andy B., the go-to for pet portrait and Jon Mesa for colorful flora and fauna among the other talented staffers and guest tattooers, whose hourly rates falling between $200 and $250.
    424 Broadway
    New York, NY 10013

    13. Smith Street Tattoo Parlour

    411 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
    via
    The Gowanus shop's niche is its traditional work. Artists Steve Boltz, Bert Krak, Daniel Santoro, and Eli Quinters create such flawless pieces that are so vibrantly colored and perfectly detailed that now the entire city and beyond knows where to go for tattoos in their most timeless sense. But don’t confuse classic with simple — these are works of art you’ll be glad you get to look at forever. And bonus: The team of artists is also loved for being nice, calm, and patient.
    411 Smith St
    Brooklyn, NY 11231

    14. Electric Anvil

    721 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
    Electric Anvil
    Having tattooed around the world, Josh Egnew developed a cult following in New York at Three Kings Tattoo before opening up his own shop earlier this year. The Crown Heights spot has already been getting rave reviews for its impeccably clean interior, chill vibes, and )most importantly) its artwork. Egnew brought on the equally talented and experienced artist Jeremy Sutton, and later Craig “Boxcar” Chazen joined the team. Together, the trio offer a range of black and white realism, color-saturated Japanese artwork, lively animal motifs, and trippy surrealist pieces that all start at a $100 shop minimum.
    721 Franklin Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11238

    15. Black Square Tattoo

    552 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
    Black Square
    Anton Zolotov set out to create an art project, not just a tattoo shop, when he opened Black Square in 2013. The space is meant to be a place to chill even if you’re not getting inked, with a selection of cool, under-the-radar zines (including a shop zine) and books. Zolotov recruited his tattooers based on their non-body art: Beyond permanently marking skin, each team member also creates fine art, from Louis Brengard and his traditional-yet-quirky black drawings like that much-Instagrammed Joan Didion tat and Noel Chanyungco and his haunting color pieces. All artists have a starting shop minimum of $80.
    552 Grand St
    Brooklyn, NY 11211

    16. Magic Cobra Tattoo Society

    775 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, Brooklyn, NY 11211
    Magic Cobra
    You may have heard talk about Magic Cobra Tattoo Society around any Friday the 13th, as the shop is usually one of the best places offering $13 flash sheets (the lines on these days are understandably never-ending). If you’ve got something specific in mind and a little more cash to spend, Adam Korothy does everything from pin-ups to trippy realist-meets-surrealist pieces, Kati Vaughn does vivid flowers and insects, and Woodz does grandiose scenes and intricate portraits. For these and other artists, the shop minimum is $80.
    775 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
    Brooklyn, NY 11211

    17. Meattt Inc.

    184 Noll St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
    Meattt Inc.
    Tongue-in-cheek quirk, girl power, and incredibly unique ink is all at new kid on the block Meattt, Inc. Marina Heintze built her shop around the lighthearted view of the body as a “piece of meat,” styling its interior with an artsy Brooklyn take on a butcher shop and adding a gallery twist by making all the artwork on the walls for sale. For wearable art, Heintze serve up truly inspired tattoos that often capture a cheerful sense of humor —think bright palm trees, skeletons with pool toys and cartoon ghosts — for a shop minimum of $100.
    184 Noll St
    Brooklyn, NY 11237