New York is home to some of the best tattoo artists in the world. The sheer variety of styles available is amazing, from traditional American tattoos to Japanese pieces, photo-realism, and minimal line, not to mention the plethora of tattoo innovators. Just think that the city’s very first tattoo parlor opened in 1870, and it’s here that the first rotary electric tattoo machine was invented in 1891.

And because New York is also America’s biggest media hub, the local tattoo industry has been overloaded with celebrity endorsements, and sometimes misleading information. So it’s no wonder that so many people end up regretting their tat.

To help you choose the right studio where to get inked, we have made a list of the best tattoo shops in NYC . Read on to find out where celebrities and tattoo experts go get tattooed in New York City.

Let’s start!

Daredevil Tattoo

The Best Tattoo Shops in NYC (2021 Update) 15 March 2021

Brad Fink and Michelle Myles opened this Lower East Side tattoo shop in 1997, and they haven’t looked back. The shop has been very successful since then, and multiple celebrities, including Boy George and Joan Jet, got tatooed here. Brad is also the founder of NYC Tattoo History Inc, an NGO aimed at raising public awareness of tattoing history.

Vegans will be happy to know that they use animal-free ink, and clients can make an appointment or just walk in. However, if you decide to get inked here during the pandemic, remember that you can only book appointments with a deposit.

Prices: starting from $100 per hour for standard tattoo designs and $200 for custom tattoos

Location: 141 Division St Ste 2, New York, NY 10002

Three Kings Tattoo

Opened by Matt Marcus, Three Kings is one of the largest tattoo parlors in NYC, counting more than a dozen artists in their staff. This allows them to accept walk-in customers 7 days a week, although some of their artists are already booked for most of the year. But Three Kings is also hosting guest tattooers for limited sessions to perform specialty work.

They have iPads available which to browse their portfolio of tattoo types, and they cater to short notice customers, although they recommend contacting them in advance. They are also happy to advise you on which tattoos to get or avoid.

Prices: A $100 to $200 deposit is required and Price per hour is $80–$175.

Location: 343 E 10th St, New York

Studio 28 Tattoos

This is one of the best NYC tattoo shops for half and full sleeve tattoos, both new and classic, and it is a go-to place for those who need tattoo removal.. It is a clean, safe and affordable facility where the staff will take extra care to ensure the body art you receive matches your exact specifications. They also offer piercings. Right now the accept only appointments

Price: Starts at $150 and an hourly rate of $220

Location: 108 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001

JonBoy Tattoo

The Best Tattoo Shops in NYC (2021 Update) 15 March 2021

JonBoy has been tattoing for over 18 years and specializes in minimalist body art. His main source of inspiration is the legendary Dr. Woo from LA, but the way he merges fashion and art is pretty unique, and many credit him for bringing fine line art to mainstream audiences. He has worked with multiple celebrities, including Post Malone and Justin Bieber. When you leave the studio you will be given a complete aftercare kit, including an A+D ointment, instructions, and his very own jolly rancher. All this enveloped in gold. Definitely a tattoing experience you won’t forget. But please remember to book beforehand, as some people end up waiting for a year (not kidding!).

Price: $300 minimum

Location: 485 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018

Sena Tattoo

The Best Tattoo Shops in NYC (2021 Update) 15 March 2021

Located in Little Italy, this shop is considered the best New York tattoo studios for traditional Japanese tattoos outside Japan. Clients can get all sorts of body art, from dragons to tigers, koi, wind and waves. Their prices start at three figures for basic designs, and those looking for a full body custom tattoo may spend as much as $20,000.

Price: Varies from three to five figures

Location: 229 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

East Side Ink

This shop based in East Village promotes a perfect blend of craftsmanship and art. Established by Josh Lord, the master tattoo artist that worked on the HBO show True Detective, this legacy shop is one of the oldest in the local tattoo scene and some of its most famous customers include Scarlett Johansson and Daniel Lewis. They’re also one of the best tattoo shops in NYC for tattoo removal, cover ups and micro blading.

Price: start from $150 for small pieces. Minimum hourly rates $250-$300

Location: 95 Avenue B New York, NY 10009

First Class Tattoo

Located in Chinatown, it has more than a half dozen local artists in its class=’ent _friendly_staff’>friendly staff, and international guest artists occasionally pay a visit too. First Class specializes in neo traditional pieces, fine line realistic tattoos, and black and grey . They will consult with you to determine which style is best and will come up with something breathtaking. They can also create cosmetic tattoos which are designed to enhance the eyebrows or lips. Walk ins are ok and will be taken care of on a first come first serve basis

Price: Starts at $200

Location: 52 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002

Bang Bang

The Best Tattoo Shops in NYC (2021 Update) 15 March 2021

This Lower East Side tattoo shop lives up to its reputation as one of the best tattoo studios in NYC. They specialize in micro tattoos and cater to an elite clientele. Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy, the founder, is regarded by many as the best tattoo artist in NYC, and with famous personalities such as Lebron James, Rihanna and Odell Beckham as clients, it is hard to argue with that. Unlike most tattoo parlors, which often give a grimy feeling, Bang Bang’s tattoo studio is more akin to a luxury penthouse. Care for a little piece of advice? Book well in advance! You can also try to shou up without prior notice, but remember that first comes first served.

Price: Starts at $500 and requires a 25% deposit, but check with your chosen artist first

Location: 328 Broome St & 62 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

Nice Tattoo Parlor

You will find them in Williamsburg, and their specialty is minimal line body art as well as detailed designs. Their chill-out staff is highly efficient and able to produce an array of arts with sharp detail and elegant results. Walk-ins are accepted from Wednesday to sunday, but not recommended as this shop is frequently busy. Better to make an appointment.

Price: Starts at $100 per hour and a deposit is required

Location: 177 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY, 11211 United States

Grit N Glory

The Best Tattoo Shops in NYC (2021 Update) 15 March 2021

Another shop placed in Lower East Side, but this time specialized is color tattoos. There’s a rock-themed boutique inside, but as you walk through you will recognise the sound of tattoo machines. This shop was founded by Megan Massacre who is most famous for her appearance on NY Ink, where she won many fans due to her personality and illustrative tattoos, but you’re going to meet different artists on staff every week. Better to get an appointment, but walk-ins are welcome anyway.

Price: $250–$400 per hour

Location: 186 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

East River Tattoo

Founded in 2000 by veteran artist Duke Riley (you can find some of his work in the Brooklyn Museum), you’ll find a style mainly influenced by maritime folk art and traditional tattoos from the 19th century, and this is reflected also on the interior design. It’s definitely worth a visit, but remember that they accept walk-ins only on weekends for flash art tattoos, whereas appointments can be booked only Monday to Friday.

Price: starting from $150, minimum hourly rates are $300.

Location: 1047 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn New York

Kings Avenue Tattoo

Coming from the huge success in Long Island, Mike Rubendall gave life to his second tattoo studio on Bowery, but be prepared to encounter all sort of great guest artists here in the 10 tattoo stations on the 2nd floor. Japanese sleeve or bodysuit are some of the most appreciated among their wide range of styles. 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

Location: 844 N. Broadway, Massapequa, NY 11758 – 188 Bowery 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012


So there you have it, the best tattoo shops in New York city with all the info to get in touch with them. All you have left to do now is refine your research to find the most suitable one for your needs. Call them, ask friends, check their work samples on Instagram or on their website, and once the pandemic is over, you will also be able to see them tattooing live at one of the many tattoo conventions in New York.


FAQ

How much does a tattoo cost in NYC?

The price of a tattoo in NYC can vary from a minimum of $100 to even $20.000. But in the end that’s all up to the artist. Size, complexity of the design, the part of th body being tattooed, and the artist reputation are just some of the factors affecting the price of a tattoo.

When Can I get a Tattoo in New York?

People over 18 can get a tattoo without parental consent, whereas minors below the age of 18 can’t be tattooed regardless of parental consent as stated in the Section 260.21 of New York State Penal Law.

Why was tattooing illegal in New York?

Tattooing was banned in 1961 and got legalized again in 1997. The official reason for the ban was an hepatitis B outbreak, but some historians think that it was because of the preparations for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Ther are also theories about a vendetta from a policeman who fell in love with a tattoo artist’s wife.