Getting a tattoo (or even your 50th) might be at the top of your list of things to do in Austin, but it’s a process that involves a lot of tough decisions. What are you going get? And where? And who’s going to do it? And how are you going to break it to mom? A great tattoo shop can make getting through that checklist pain-free (until the needle comes out, of course). Thankfully, there are a lot of great tattoo shops in Austin, with the rise of ink experts rivaling the rise of food trucks in Austin in the past decade or so. These 12 best-of-the-best tattoo shops feature great artists working across numerous styles in super-chill environments that will make your experience, and the result, just what you were looking for. Grab some liquid courage at one of the best bars in Austin, and get your ink on.
Best tattoo shops in Austin
Whether you’re looking to get your first tattoo or your 20th, you’re more than welcome at Golden Age Tattoo. Aside from accessibility, the shop’s roster of talented individuals also offers expertise in a sizeable variety of styles (traditional, photorealistic, geometric and more). Their website offers email addresses for each artist, or you can call the shop directly for more information.
The creatively decorated Dovetail Tattoo is led by Wendi Ramirez, who doubles as the owner and one of the artists at the shop. Alongside her is a trio of fellas—El Sando, Jerrid Rodriguez and Daniel Santiesteban—who have a ton of experience and the high regard in the ink world to match it. Each of the artists has email addresses listed on the site.
If you want a spot where you can just walk in and get work done by an artist with several years of experience, then Rock of Ages Tattooing is the place for you. Artists Steve Byrne, Tony Hundahl and Katja Ramirez have each been doing tattoos for nearly 20 years, and they can pull off a variety of styles (traditional, Japanese and more). Plus Thomas Hooper is at this shop, and he’s a wiz at geometric stuff. As mentioned, walk-ins are welcomed, but an appointment set via the shop’s site is recommended.
Megan Cates, who used to work at two other shops in town—Atomic and Gully Cat—started the very highly regarded Bijou Studio in 2009. The shop’s friendly, relaxed atmosphere and its talented team are in high demand, so if you want in, you may have to book time fairly far in advance.
Mainstay’s website boasts that Zach Nelligan, Ivan Antonyshev and Cory Schofield run the placewith “intention of being Austin’s first and only completely classic tattoo shop.” In addition to having a regular roster of artists, the shop also has guest artists who stop in frequently. Walk-ins are welcome—and encouraged.
The Triple Crown Tattoo Parlour was started by Scott Ellis (formerly of True Blue) back in 2007. The shop’s aim is all-custom tattooing, and they offer a comfortable experience with a roster of multi-talented professionals. You can take a shot at walking-in, but appointments are the way to go.
Ancient Ink Tattoo has been around since 2004 and is home to Horimaru-kan, who specializes in Japanese Tebori and Electric Japanese tattooing. Don’t fret though if you’re hoping to land a different style—the shop also houses artists that can tackle photorealism, portraits and more. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.
Black Dagger Tattoo is home to a well rounded roster of artists who offer a wide variety of styles, like traditional, realistic black and grey, Japanese, tribal or anything else that may be bouncing around in your head. Make an appointment, or pop in and see if they can make time for you.
The revered Chris Trevino (aka Horimana) can be found at Perfection Tattoo. He is famous for his traditional Japanese designs both in the U.S. and in Japan. If you want to be marked by a legend, Trevino’s the man to book.
Led by the great Jeff Ensminger, Resurrection Tattoo has a varied lineup of artists who work in tons of different styles. The atmosphere is decidedly anti-hectic, so you’ll be able to hang out without feeling rushed. Call or shoot over an email in order to setup an appointment.