If you are living in San Antonio or plan to visit it in the future, and are looking for an amazing place to get a tattoo, then you have come to the right place. When you are looking for a tattoo place you want it to be somewhere that you can get an incredible tattoo and have your needs taken care of. You may think that all tattoo artists are created equal but that’s not the case. Regretting a tattoo is something that you don’t want so you want to make sure you have a talented and experienced artist.
Not all tattoo studios are high-end or top providers. It’s actually harder than you may think to have a consistent 5-star rating, so when you do see that, you can bet that it’s a great studio. You can bet that is a studio is busy or has a wait list, then they are a successful and reputable business.
San Antonio loves tattoos and that’s why there are so many places available. The industry of tattooing has increased over the years and tattoos are becoming more acceptable, even at work. There is a huge demand for tattoos which why there are so many studios to choose from. Finding a tattoo place can be daunting for a lot of people but do not fret, you are sure to find a place on this list.
Most tattoo enthusiasts don’t just go for one tattoo, they usually get more than one and some people will even cover their whole bodies. If you find an artist that makes you comfortable, then you are likely to stay loyal to that artist.
If you are looking for top artists in the San Antonio area, then you have come to the right place. You may even find that you have to go on a waitlist for some of the more popular establishments. These wait lists are often worth the wait so don’t be discouraged by them. A wait list speaks of the service that they are providing and the fact that a lot of people want to go to that studio. If a place is never busy, that’s the studio you have to worry about.
Before we take a look at the best shops in the city, let’s touch base on what you need to look for in a tattoo shop regardless of where you go.
What Should You Look For When Shopping For A Tattoo Shop?
You may find location being important in your search for a tattoo shop and you may also be looking for a place that is in your budget. We caution about going to the tattoo shop that is considered “cheap” as you have to remember that you “get what you pay for” and when we are talking about putting something permanent on your body, then going to a cheap place may be a mistake for you. A lot of people also get a tattoo based on word of mouth from a family or friend.
Here Is What You Should Be Looking For:
This is important in any industry, not just a tattoo shop. It doesn’t hurt to make a call to the shop before you go in because it’s a really good way to see how they handle customers. You can tell if they are true professionals through a phone call as well as whether they will even answer their phone. You can tell a lot about a business by how they answer the phone. Are they rushed? Are they interested in answering your questions? Did they help you?
Once you have called, you can go ahead and visit the shop. At that point, you can see how they interact with their customers. You want to go to a tattoo place that is inviting and relaxing. You can ask them about the tattoo that you want to see if they have any ideas before you decide whether you want to get a tattoo there.
Check Their Appointment Availability
You may think that you lucked out if you can get in right away to have a tattoo done but that’s not always the case. A busy business should tell you that people go there a lot because they do good work. If you go to a tattoo shop and everyone is available that should tell you that no one really goes there to get a tattoo done and you should try another establishment.
Make Sure You Check Out Their Experience
You want to check out the work that has been done before at the tattoo shop. Don’t just assume because they are open that they know what they’re doing. Depending on the tattoo that you are interested in getting, you should talk to the artist and see if they have any experience in that particular style.
Check Out The Artist
You want to be comfortable with the person that’s doing your tattoo. You don’t want to end up with someone who’s arrogant when you have to sit through a tattoo. You want someone who cares whether you are in pain and who will stop if you ask them to.
Is The Shop Clean?
This should be one of the highest priorities that you look for in a tattoo place. If the place is not clean, do you really want to get a tattoo there? You need to get a tattoo done in a sterile environment, not a dirty place. The ink should be in disposable containers and be single-use. The treatment room should have clean surfaces and be sterilized.
Top Tattoo Places In San Antonio To Visit:
Now that we have established what to look for when you go to a tattoo place, let’s start looking at the shops that you might want to visit.
1. Bad Habits Tattoo Studio
Bad Habits Tattoo Studio is one of the best studios in San Antonio. They specialize in black & gray tattoos, in custom designs, and portraits. They will allow walk-ins but they much prefer appointments. They only work with the best artists and each one has many years of experience in the industry. The studio also sells tobacco products which is part of the reason for the name of the studio. Clients of the studio praise the talented, professional artists and the laid-back atmosphere that they have.
2. Boardwalk Tattoos
There is a lot of variety of tattoos with Boardwalk Tattoos. They specialize in black and gray, neo-traditional, custom work, portraits, realism and American traditional. The studio is huge supporters of the military and will give a discount on tattoos to any active member of the military. The artists at the studio have over 40 years of combined experience in the industry. You can get tattoos as well as piercings at the studio. The things that you will find at Boardwalk Tattoos us a clean space with warm and friendly staff. The shop is beautiful and they offer detailed tattoos that you will love forever.
3. Calavera’s Tattoo
This tattoo shop has been open since 2005 and the artists working there have over 65 years of combined experience in the industry. The shop itself is located in the Art District of San Antonio. The tattoos that they specialize in are American traditional, neo-traditional, portraits, new school and color realism. If you have a cover-up that you want to deal with then this shop specializes in covering up tattoo designs. Clients love the friendly artists and the relaxed atmosphere that the shop has.
4. Element Tattoo Studio
This is one of the top tattoo shops in San Antonio and they have been open since 2006. The owner has 15 years of experience in the industry which means he knows what he’s doing. They specialize in tribal, Japanese, watercolor, traditional, realism, geometric and script styles. You can even get tattoos removed at the shop. They have laser technology with a Hoya ConBio MedLite c6 machine that will help to remove a tattoo that you no longer want. This is the place to go for quality tattoos.
5. Electric Panther Tattoo
If you are a huge fan of American-style color tattoos, then Electric Panther Tattoo is the studio that you are looking for because this is something that they specialize in. You can visit the shop six days a week and both appointments and walk-ins are welcome. They have been in San Antonio for many years and have been serving clients for over 30 years. Clients love their quality work and the clean shop and professional atmosphere.
6. Dandyland Tattoos
This is one tattoo studio that has been open in San Antonio for over 20 years. It’s definitely a popular place and one of the best in San Antonio. They have been voted number one tattoo shop and piercing studios by the readers of the San Antonio Current a whopping 14 times. The best part of the studio aside from the great tattoos you can get is that they regularly rotate guest artists around the country. If you have ever wanted to work with an artist from another area, then you can check out the website to see what guest artists are coming to visit the studio at any given time. You can get tattoos there as well as piercings and the piercers of the studio are members of the Association of Professional Piercers and are always going to the APP conference. That means that continuing education in the industry is very important to the artists that work at the studio. Clients love the professional staff and the clean and easy going atmosphere at the studio.
7. Firme Copias
This is another studio in the area that is considered to be one of the top-notch studios in the area. They specialize in tattoos such as black & gray, neo-traditional, portraits as well as cover-ups. If you have a tattoo that you are no longer interested in, they will sit down with you and discuss the best way to have the tattoo covered up. They want you to be happy with the tattoo that you have and they can work with you to create something that you will love instead of what you already have. You can get tattoos at the shop as well as body piercings and the shop carries a variety of body jewelry that you can purchase. The owner of Firme Copias has won many awards for his work over the years and has more than ten years of experience in the industry. Clients will say that Firme Copias has talented artists at the shop as well as a laid-back atmosphere.
Fortune Bros. Tattoo Co. is another studio that is very popular in the industry. They specialize in black and gray tattoos, American tattoos, pop culture tattoos and floral designs. They will accept walk-ins but they prefer for clients to set up appointments. It’s the best way to make sure that you can get in and get a tattoo. They carry specialized products by H2Ocean that you can purchase to take care of your tattoo after it’s completed. Aftercare is very important so it’s cool that they carry products that you can purchase. Clients say that Fortune Bros. Tattoo Co. has friendly and professional artists and the shop itself is very clean.
9. Master Minds Tattoos
If a custom design is what you are after then you should definitely check out Master Minds Tattoos. They love sitting down with clients and working with them to create a design that they will truly love. The artists of the studio are all members of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists and have more than 25 years of combined experience in the industry so you know they are taking tattooing seriously. They pride themselves in their sanitization practices and make sure to use a new needle every single time. Clients say that they are efficient in their work and the artists are friendly and fun.
We hope that you found the perfect place to get your next tattoo in San Antonio and we wish you good luck on your experience!