Jade Dierckx

Let’s Get Inked! Must-Visit Tattoo Shops in the USA

Many view the tattoo world as a hardcore, punk rock environment with standard-looking parlors and tatted-up artists. But tattooing over the years has changed. With many people owning body artwork, the need for an experience is growing. That’s why we created a list to highlight cool, crazy, and hidden tattoo experiences.
It’s easy to find the best tattoo artist in a certain area online, but try googling the coolest parlor. Yeah, that’s a lot harder. So we got you covered. Bar? Church? Container box? We found them all.
In this three-part series, we will take you to Europe, the USA, and then the rest of the world.
What will your next tattoo be?

Bang Bang (New York City, NY — USA)

Bang Bang is by far one of the most famous celebrity tattoo artists, and rightfully so. The Bang-gang makes tattoos however small or big, detailed or abstracted as the customer wishes.

For the opening of their second New York location, owner Keith McCurdy hired designer Jesse McGowan who turned the two-story shop into a contemporary piece of art. The monochrome palette choice gives the shop a sophisticated and high-tech look with black and white walls, marble countertops, and led displayed tunnels. There is even a small garden with a koi pond with a glass bottom that can be viewed from the basement.

Bang Bang Tattoo
62 Grand Street New York NY 10013 

Temple Tattoo (Oakland, CA — USA)

This Tattoo parlor in sunny California looks more like a traditional store from the outside but is a pleasant surprise when walking in. The place is decorated with Christian and spiritual paintings, statues, drawings, and even neon lights as far as the eye can see. The eyecatcher: the big lit-up cross in the back.

Owner Freddy Corbin is apparently also known as Mr. Nice Guy. His specialty? You guessed it, big religious tattoos of which he owns a *few* himself. But don’t worry if you are looking for other styles because they have many artists with various specific skills. Going to Temple Tattoo is a little like going to church if we are to believe its customers. Corbin talks about life, and the amazing artwork gives you plenty to look at while you are getting your tattoo.

Temple Tattoo
384 17th St Oakland, CA 94612

Atelier Eva (Williamsburg, NY — USA)

Getting a tattoo at a woman-owned and run parlor, Atelier Eva is unlike any other tattoo shop in the world. The parlor is basically a spa with esthetically-looking mirrors, vases, and art. The concrete floors, earth-toned woods, and Japanese garden make this a zen place, ideal to get a tattoo in peace.

For those exact reasons founder, Eva Karabudak started the atelier. She found the tattoo world very competitive and even toxic saying that she wanted to create a space where people would be calm and relaxed when they walk in, the opposite of every other parlor.

Atelier Eva
29 Havemeyer Street, New York, NY 11211

True Hand (Philadelphia, PA — USA)

When tattoo artist Mike Ski accidentally found this nearly demolished church, he knew he had to invest in it. In a short period of two years, he completely renovated this old church and turned it into an extraordinary tattoo parlor. The venue is located in the city center of Fishtown, Philadephia which makes it an easy walk-in spot.

Ski did not only make this his workplace, but he also completely transformed the upper levels into a modern home for him and his fiancé. He’s even already won a few local and state prices for his amazing work on the church, the out-of-the-ordinary mix of concepts, and the preservation of a local treasure.

True Hand Society 
2345 E. Susquehanna Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125

High Voltage Tattoo (West Hollywood, CA — USA)

Yes, this is the famous tattoo shop from the dramatic reality show La Ink. It is still owned by famous make-up guru and tattoo artist Kat Von D. This place is actually a pretty standard tattoo shop, but it offers amazing artists and gives you the feeling you are in a reality show yourself.

The shop burned down in 2014 destroying the famous hot pink interior. It used to feel like a Barbie-meets-Hard-Rock-Cafe parlor, but it looks completely different now. The shop was transformed into a red velvet dungeon-looking space with dark flowers and a lot of candles. And yes, Kat still tattoos there. If you’re lucky, you might run into her.

High Voltage Tattoo 
1259 North La Brea Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90038-1023

Divergent Ink (Miami, FL — USA)

Divergent in Miami looks like a modern Airbnb and feels like it too. The open space, with big doors and mirrors, makes it feel like everything but a tattoo shop. The parlor is located not too far from Miami Beach but still on the mainland surrounded by great food places.

Customers of Divergent claim that this place offers the most private tattoo session you will ever experience as you get to pick your own music or even tv-show. On top of that, owner Guillermo Chaviano will go above and beyond to make sure that what he makes is what you want.

Divergent Ink Tattoo Studio 
5582 NE 4th Ct Suite 6C, Miami, FL 33137

Last Rites Tattoo Theatre (New York City, NY — USA)

Not too far from Times Square, you can find this incredible tattoo shop. Owner Paul Booth has been tattooing New Yorkers and international fans for over 20 years. Sadly, due to covid, he temporarily closed his business. But we are sure that once everything is back to normal, Paul will open his gates of hell again.

The theatre, rightfully called so, brings a Halloween horror movie to life. The tattoo chairs are placed in a decor of skeletons and crypts of a dark underground world making this one of the most amazingly creepy tattoo experiences ever.

Last Rites Tattoo Theatre 
325 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

Photo credits: Anna Morgowicz, Tuuka Koski, Freddy Corbin, Jay Watson, Atticus Radley, Peter Woodall, Thom Carrol, Chris Mottalini, High Voltage Tattoo, Jason Head, Divergent Ink, Paul Booth, and Lore Zimmer

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