There’s more to Bah-stin than just the accent, ya know. On top of being the birthplace of baked beans, Boston cream pies, and Fenway Park, did you know Boston is also a killer city to consider visiting for your next tattoo?
So, let’s look at some of the best and most unique tattoo shops in Boston so you can plan your upcoming full sleeve - or Red Sox tattoo - at the perfect shop :)
Starting off strong, in both great reviews and one of the trippiest shop names ever, is Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo. Named after the owner, Fat Ram, Pumpkin Tattoo specializes in color intense, larger pieces, which unfortunately means they’re not accepting walk-ins. (So if you were dead set on getting that Mickey Mouse tattoo wearing a Celtics hat, ya might be out of luck here)
They currently only offer consultations by email and video calls, and welcome all interested customers to call the shop for a faster response about available appointments. All of their prices and FAQ’s can be found on their website, along with the licenses and certifications that every single one of their artists holds. So, if you’re looking to finally get that sleeve done in a single day, followed by some incredible Boston chowder, check out Fat Ram’s.
Next up is Ghost in the Machine Tattoo (what’d I tell ya about those names!), featuring seven kick-ass resident ink artists to choose from. The shop refers to itself as a ‘premier international destination shop’, because of their dedication to hosting tattoo artists from all over the world at their shop. The artists at this shop are all multi-genre, highly talented individuals.
Their work shows their versatility, ranging from large color pieces to more intricate black and gray traditional pieces. The shop is also known for its preference for large pieces.
Another Boston ink spot that takes its dedication to large pieces very seriously is The Black Veil Tattoo & Piercing Studio. Run by two brothers, Ryan and Matthew Murray, this ink-duo and their shop specialize in large, detailed black and gray pieces inspired by death or macabre-related subjects. (Google ‘macabre’ dude. In case you end up on Jeopardy one day or decide to re-take the SAT’s all these years later).
They book appointments at least a month in advance, so this is definitely not the kind of shop you’ll be able to walk into for an impulsive Grim Reaper tattoo while your buddies watch and slam cheap beers by the case. However, if you’re set on getting a tattoo at The Black Veil, they do have certain days dedicated to flash sheet pieces on a first come, first served basis.
As with any tattoo, new or existing, big or small, don't forget to protect them by following the proper aftercare instructions and investing in some of the best tattoo aftercare products. Check out our Tattoo Starter Set and the Brighten and Protect Bundle. Make the healing process smoother and keep that ink looking fresh!
Traveling and preparing for any trip is stressful enough. Especially if getting a new tattoo is on your agenda. So if you run out of time to grab that last minute haircut before you travel, don’t worry because Boston Barber & Tattoo Co. has you covered. For BOTH. Yep…a barber shop and tattoo parlor in the same space! This ink + chop shop is equipped with 16 barbers and seven resident tattoo artists in the shop on the second floor.
Plus, a complimentary full-service coffee bar in the back. (We said COFFEE, Dude.) So you could walk out with a fresh cut and some fresh ink. This is quite a unique experience, so try not to act surprised when it takes a month or two to get a tattoo appointment. Their barber shop takes walk-ins more regularly than their tattoo parlor upstairs, so make sure to either make an appointment or call ahead to find availability. They also have two locations, North End and Beacon Hill.
Tattoos are an investment, and you should always be prepared to spend a reasonable amount of money on a great (and permanent) piece of art, but Ink Jam Studio makes you feel even better about the money you spend with them. That's because this shop hosts fundraisers and tattoo festivals to raise funds for the Veterans Advocacy Services and has done so for the past 20 years.
The shop’s owner, Jim Quinn, has over 20 years of ‘inkperience’ and specializes in many different styles of tattooing. Because this shop consists mainly of Quinn’s talents and one other artist, walk-ins are rarely accommodated. Ink Jam proudly uses only non-toxic/vegan inks. Ethical ink, helping veterans, and a dope piece? Dude, that’s a win-win-win. That’s not all either, because this shop also offers cover-ups and touch-ups. Go get that ex’s name covered (again), dude.
Of course, you’ve probably heard of tattoos as a form of therapy, i.e., tattoo therapy. This refers to how you use tattooed pictures or quotes (or really ANY tattoo you chose) to represent certain traumas or struggles you’re healing from. However, if you’re not quite ready to commit to your own permanent form of tattoo therapy, check out some of our Tattoo Therapy swag! Odyssey Wellness Tattoo takes it a step further, dedicating its shop to helping breast cancer patients and survivors with areola traumas.
Owner Darlene DiBona stated this as her primary motivation in opening the shop, with information on their site to help clients afford this type of therapy. This shop offers tattoo re-pigmentation and areola reconstruction services, along with options for creative ideas for a colorful cover-up of mastectomy scarring. They also offer reconstruction tattoos for all transgender individuals. While the shop specializes in scarring cover-ups and reconstructions, it’s also well-loved and reviewed as a traditional tattoo shop offering large, colorful pieces.
While we’re on the topic of shops specializing in scar cover-ups, Holistic Ink deserves to be added to the list. This shop is one of the only high-rated tattoo shops (besides Odyssey) that specializes in many different styles and color preferences, and all of their artists are more than comfortable with working over scars, stretch marks, and/or birthmarks. They welcome clients to come into the store or send them an email with a reference photo of the area they want tattooed, and the shop will let them know what styles and colors are possible.
The most common review under this shop is their artists’ attention to detail with each and every client, so you know they’re going to take great care of you and your tattoo journey. The shop also prides itself on using hospital-grade sterilization cleaning methods for all of their equipment.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of some of Boston's best tattoo shops. It's up to you to decide your best fit! All shops listed have price estimates and minimums detailed on their websites, but remember that the best way to get an estimate is to call or email the shop directly with your tattoo idea.
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