For a service business to be branded as one of the top providers is highly challenging and demanding, especially in the tattoo industry.
Opening a tattoo parlor and earning a top spot in a city that does not halt for anyone is extremely demanding. As the tattoo industry has prospered over the years, there has been a significant increase in inter-industry competition as well as the need for hiring tattoo experts.
Whether you are just visiting or are a resident of New York, you may very well be aware of the city’s love for body transformation and tattoo. Industries like piercing and tattooing have risen hand in hand over the years, and about half the population of this city is sporting at least one tattoo.
With such a level of demand the number of businesses entering the tattoo universe and setting up shop is extraordinary. Especially single tattoo artists who have inked one or more celebrities are in high demand.
In some cases getting a session with the top tattoo artists is almost impossible. Tattooing is a risky business and making a name for yourself in such an industry speaks volumes for your service.
What should you look for in a tattoo parlor?
First things first, you may decide which shop you will be getting your tattoo at based on factors such as the location (how close it is), your budget, whether they do the type of tattoo you want, word of mouth and so on. Besides all of this, you should also consider the overall ambiance and professionalism of a shop. To know exactly what you need to look for in a tattoo shop keep reading:
1. Customer service
You are more likely to make a phone call before visiting the shop in person. This phone call can set the complete vibe for the impending service. You will immediately decipher whether they are solid professionals by how they deal with your call. Are they interested in answering your queries? Are they in a rush? Do they sound helpful?
After the call, you may visit the facility, but your job is not done yet. On entering the shop, you have to notice how well they interact with their customers. The atmosphere should be relaxing and inviting. Try to discuss your ideas for the potential tattoo and all the other details with them before you decide to get a tattoo there.
This should be your top priority. If a shop does not seem clean enough, get away from there as soon as possible. Tattoo parlor needs to have a sterile environment, the ink should be disposable and single-use, the surfaces in the treatment room should be impeccably clean, and there should be a sterilization machine for all the tools that cannot be disposable.
3. The Tattoo Artist
A tattoo artist can completely make or break your experience. Try and meet the tattoo artist who will potentially be doing your tattoo. A tattoo artist should be a very facilitating figure as it not fun to deal with arrogance, especially when your skin is being pierced.
4. Collect historical data
You need solid evidence of the work that has previously been done at the shop. Most people agree on getting their service from a particular shop based on a celebrity picture hanging from their wall. If you are looking for tribal patterns and detailing, make sure to inquire if their artists are well versed in the art and ask for pictures from previous clients.
5. Their appointments
How busy business speaks for itself. If they are entirely free (does not apply to new locations), then you should probably opt for another shop.
Top 12 Shops to Get your Tattoo at
Now that we have established what you should be looking for in a tattoo parlor, the following are the top tattoo shops in NYC
1. New York Adorned
You will always find this tattoo shop listed as one of the most highly rated shops in NYC. This tattoo parlor has gained quite a reputation over the years. Located at 47 2nd Avenue, East Village you can find some of the top tattoo artists here. You can book an appointment with them for a consultation as well. The artists working here include Brads Stevens, Yoni Silber, Bart Bingham, Dan Bythewood and Jose Chalarca. The success rate and customer satisfaction are quite high here.
2. The Inkline studio
This is one of the top luxury studios that provide impeccable service. Anil Gupta, the tattoo artists, is well known for his attention to detail and his passion for the job. Getting a tattoo here will be a lifetime experience, and you will end up here again, well if you can afford too. The charges here are quite high, and a single consultation can cost you a pretty penny. Located at 62 Riving ton Street, Lower East Side, you can book an appointment with them via email or a call. Their online domain is inklinestudio.com
3. Invisible NYC
This predominantly an art gallery that specializes in creating custom tattoo designs. It first started catering to tattoo enthusiasts in 2006 and is now one of the top tattoo shops. Their service is flawless, and even the tiniest of tattoos comes out looking like a masterpiece. They offer a variety of styles such as Japanese art and other forms of American inspired designs. Troy Denning, the owner of this business, is a known legend in the world of body art. This shop is located at 148 Orchard Street, Lower Eastside. You can also reach them through their website which is invisiblenyc.com
4. Sacred tattoo
This is a top-notch tattoo parlor that offers any style you can imagine. You will find tribal art, Asian designs, photorealism, realism and even painting inspired art. This is also an art gallery that is known for exhibiting exquisite pieces all year round. They offer the services of their very own artists Gunny, Jessica V, Andy B, Rods Jimenez, Jon Mesa, Matt Buck, Nick Wilcox, Dave Tevenal and also services from well known “guest tattoo artists” from all over the world. They are located at 24 Broadway on Soho but can also be reached at sacredtattoo.com
5. Dare Devil Tattoos
This shop has been around for quite some time now. They first opened when tattooing was first legalized and are going strong. The amount of experience allows them to offer some styles from traditional, tribal to modern day body art. This shop is also a museum for tattoos displaying the personal collection of one of the owners and much more. They are located at 141 Division Street, owner Eastside and their website is daredeviltattoo.com.
6. Kings Avenue Tattoos
The hiring standard at this shop ensures that you are getting the best of services; the owner himself is quite keen on maintaining a clean and professional environment. They offer a variety of designs from traditional to modern day American art. Kat Von D herself is often a guest artist here, and their regulars include Mike Rubendall (owner), Juan Puente, Rose Hardy, Justin Weatherholtz, Grez and Phil Szlosek.
Their website is kingsavenuetattoo.com, and they are located at 188 Bowery, Nolita.
7. East River Tattoos
If you are looking for a reassuring artist, this is the shop for you. They have excellent customer service and even better tattoo art. They are located at 1047 Manhattan Avenue, Green point, Brooklyn. You can also reach them at estrivertattoo.com. Their wonderful artists include Rachel, Liam, Duke, Jenna Bouma, and Sue.
8. Fun City Tattoo
This is one of the more affordable places that offer top quality service. Even the tiniest tattoos are done perfectly and come out looking like masterpieces. Their artists, Claire Vuillemot and Mina Aoki, are extremely dedicated. They are located at 94 St. Marks Place, East Village, and you can also reach them at funcitytattoo.com
9. Smith Street tattoos
The smith street tattoo parlor is one of the oldest in town. Their work is impeccable, and the artists here are more than happy to share your ideas and present better options. Every tattoo they create is gorgeous and exactly what the customers ask for. They offer traditional styles and also the latest trends in tattoos. They are located at 411 Smith Street, Gowanus, and Brooklyn and can also be reached at Smith street tattoo.com
10. Bang Bang
This shop has a history of celebrities getting their tattoos here. From Rihanna to Rita Ora their clientele is huge. Their tattoo artist Bang Bang or Keith Mccurdy is exceptional at his art. The Ambiance of the Space is exceptional. If you have a few thousand dollars to spare this is your place to be. They are Located at 328 Broome Street, New York.
11. Sena Tattoos
This is the perfect place for a Japanese art inspired design. They are an epitome of culture and traditional tattoo art. They will even do a complete bodysuit for you for $20,000 and upwards. They are located at 229 Center St, New York.
12. Eastside Ink
The attention to detail here is incomparable. Josh Lord is a well-known tattoo artist who has done the designs for various TV Shows. They also have an interesting list of celebrities and hire only top talent to provide services. They are located at 95 Avenue, New York.