11 The Best Tattoo Shops in California

Two years ago, I wanted to ink Disney Prince portraits in black and grey on my three fingers. Although I understood it would be a lot of detail in such a tiny space, I wanted it badly!

After exploring three tattoo parlors, a stranger suggested I visit Six Feet Under Tattoo Parlour, and I did my tattoo there.

Best Tattoo Shops in California

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Since then, I’ve gotten inked in various parts of my body, and this blog is a collection of the places I’ve been to and my reviews.

I’m also sharing a few more places where my friend Mack got inked by the best tattoo artists in California, and I believe you should check them out too.

My Favourite: Best Tattoo Shops in California

1. Six Feet Under

Address: 116 North 2nd Avenue Upland, CA 91786, United States

Six Feet Under Tattoo Parlour, yes the Cory Millers shop, I believe is one of the top tattoo studios in California. Here you won’t just feel comfortable getting inked but receive amazing ideas and recommendations from talented artists.

Mack got a tattoo on his biceps from Henry, whom he claims has needlework that feels as gentle as an ant walking by. I know he is being humorous because I got, Disney Princess traditional tattoos on my fingers from Neil Wilson, and it was quite an ordeal.

I remember right before starting, Neil looked at me and apologized, saying it would hurt, and I certainly felt it later. It was my first tattoo with Neil, who is a phenomenal tattoo artist. It’s only because of his patience that I was able to get three princesses done in a 2-3 hour session.

Cost: $200 on three fingers – Ariel, Jasmine and Skeleton

Six Feet Under Tattoo Parlour
Six Feet Under Tattoo Parlour

2. Outer Limits Tattoo

Address: 22 S. Chestnut Place, Long Beach, CA 90902

If you’re in search of personalized, unique, and stylish tattoos with detailed artwork, you cannot afford to miss Outer Limits Tattoo in Long Beach. As you may know, Long Beach has a reputation for its vibrant party scene, and it was a spontaneous decision of mine to get a tattoo while enjoying the festivities.

Kari Barba, the owner, has received the Best Tattoo Artist award twice at the National Tattoo Convention, a “Lifetime Achievement” award, and Best Overseas Tattooist recognition. His accolades don’t stop there; he has earned more than 400 awards for his artwork. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best tattoo artist in California, you already know whom to visit!

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At the studio, you’ll have the opportunity to meet six tattoo artists who prioritize providing exceptional service while emphasizing health, safety, and comfort for their clients. Furthermore, they have been in the tattooing and piercing business for over 20 years.

Note:  You can get your piercing done at Outer Limits Tattoo in Long Beach just like me

Outer Limits Tattoo
Outer Limits Tattoo

Read on to discover what you can do in Long Beach!

3. Art Collector Tattoo Shop

Address: 10200 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, California (10.5 miles from Los Angeles)

I had a name written on my back that I needed to cover up, it was then I came across the great review collected by Art Collector Tattoo, a tattoo studio in Los Angeles that is famous for watercolor tattoos, cover-up burns, and so more.

When I was here I saw a girl designing trash polka designs by Nik Lucas. Trust me, I never so such a beautiful work with black & gray realism. I was also amazed by their collection of tattoo designs which is sure going to make you blow out! You can also ask Viktoria to suggest tattoo designs.

Note: Nik once got an infant inked to conceal his burnout.

Art Collector Tattoo Shop
Art Collector Tattoo Shop

4. Chapter One Tattoo

Address: 4857 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107, USA

Established in 2011, Chapter One is one of my favorite tattoo shops in San Diego. Here, the artists are exceptionally humble and provide both a professional and personable experience. 

If you’re in the San Diego region and dream of getting a Japanese Traditional, American Traditional, photorealism, or full-color tattoo, I highly recommend visiting Chapter One.

I must mention Dan Collins, who is incredibly talented in creating Bic pen drawings of celebrities, portrait work, and black and grey realism. He was the artist behind the Mickey Mouse tattoo on my back, which also features some fine lettering. His patience in dealing with customers is truly impeccable.

Chapter One Tattoo
Chapter One Tattoo

Read on to discover what you can do in San Diego!

5. Rose Gold

Address: 1157 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA

All body piercing and tattooing with vegan ink with highly educated, well-mannered, and health board-certified artists, Rose Gold is one of the top-rated tattoo shops in San Francisco and the Bay Area. They also have a name for offering solid gold body jewelry.

The reason I love Rose Gold is because of its artists who understand needs very well. Arlene Yap, tattoo artist of Rose Gold offers just great fitness, harmony death nature, and botanical art that it feels realistic and unique. 

Rose Gold
Rose Gold

Read on to discover what you can do in San Francisco!

Tattoo Shops in California Visited By My Friends

6. Royalty Tattoo Collective

Address: 1009 California, Dr, Burlingame, CA 94010, USA

Royalty Tattoo Collective is a high-end, and the first and only Bay Area tattoo studio located in Burlingame Downtown. It is owned by Sarah and Bryan Walsworth. The one service I love about them is you can enjoy getting inked in a private room, or studios. 

You don’t need to worry about their professionalism, as they have been in the business for a long time and hold certifications from The San Mateo County Health Department.

Royalty Tattoo Collective
Royalty Tattoo Collective

Address: 334 N Fairfax Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036 

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With more than 20 years of experience, Jarrett De Martino (click here to see his portfolio) is one of those artists in the heart of California whose work has been featured in ad campaigns for brands like Versace, David Yurman, Oxygen channel’s Best Ink Season 2 and 3, and many more.

He spent years practicing in New York before relocating to California, where he now runs Suicidal Tendencies Tattoo (S.T. Tattoo Studio) in Venice. This Southern California tattoo artist takes solo appointments and also hosts visiting tattooists at his shop.

De Martino boasts a respectable client base that includes clients such as Darkstar Skateboards, Playboy Gulf, Best Ink, and many others. Undoubtedly, he is one of the celebrity tattoo artists in California known for offering vivid lines, contemporary styles, and unique artistic creations.

8. Generation 8 Tattoo Shop

Address: 7216 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046

Dave Hatton from Generation 8 Tattoo Shop is the person about whom I heard so many praises. I’ve heard he is an expert in offering customized tattoo design starting from line work, portraits, sketches, cover-ups, and traditional arts.

Generation 8 Tattoo Shop
Generation 8 Tattoo Shop

Read on to discover what you can do in Los Angeles!

9. New Generation Tattoo

Address: 1189 Branham Ln, San Jose, CA 95118, USA

If you’re in search of a full back piece or even the tiniest of patterns, make your way to New Generation Tattoo. The artists are exceptionally talented and possess certification in Bloodborne Pathogen Education, guaranteeing hygiene and safe tattoos.

Also, this establishment is one of the oldest tattoo parlors in Northern California, offering a wide range of styles including fineline, watercolor, minimalism, floral, custom designs, black and grey, as well as Japanese, Asian, and Vietnamese styles. All of this is provided with the utmost focus on hygiene and cleanliness practices.

Note: New Generation Tattoo employs state-of-the-art tattoo machines facilitating rapid healing and great tattoo outcomes. They also offer H20 tattoo aftercare products and Hush numbing spray for your convenience.

New Generation Tattoo
New Generation Tattoo

10. Skin Design Tattoo

Address: 12885 Beach BLVD Stanton, CA 90680

Skin Design Tattoo is one of the most incredible Orange County tattoo parlors that employs internationally renowned tattoo artists who ensure the most modern and cleanest way of offering a unique design on your skin.

Everything to the black and grey script is done here by artists who received hundreds of rewards and international acclaim. Mack did his back tattoo from Dre, who is a street artist as well as has in-depth knowledge of the Chicano style. 

Skin Design Tattoo
Skin Design Tattoo

11. Port City Tattoo Shop

Address: 1145 Baker St, Ste A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

You’ll often hear people referring to Port City Tattoo Shop as the Long Beach Tattoo Parlor, which was established in 2012. They specialize in exotic-style tattoos, which happen to be my personal favorite. The artists here are highly skilled and can assist you in generating tattoo ideas that are sure to grab attention.

Port City Tattoo Shop
Port City Tattoo Shop

Tattoo Removal Clinics in California

Laser tattoo removal is the recommended procedure for eliminating ink from your skin. If you’re considering this treatment, it’s essential to seek clinics that offer the advanced Pico Way Laser technology, known for its safe and professional ink removal capabilities.

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While I haven’t undergone this treatment, I can share information based on Mack’s experience. He visited Dr. Gennady Rubinstein, a certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, board-certified by the American Board of Dermatology and a Clinical Instructor.

Dr. Rubinstein takes a hands-on approach, overseeing all laser treatments to ensure quick results with minimal sessions. Mack even mentioned seeing some Hollywood stars during his sessions, attesting to Dr. Rubinstein’s popularity in the field of tattoo removal.

The treatment involves several detailed steps that I may not be fully aware of, but typically, it spans 5-6 weeks and requires 6 sessions. On average, each session costs around $158.

Tattoo Aftercare: Must Follow

I won’t lie, but every time I go for a tattoo, my brain shouts at me, like, “Oh my God! Why are you doing this? Damn, it hurts!” But, you know, the results are something that always makes me want to go back for more.

Getting inked on your body or getting a tattoo is a personal choice, and even the level of pain depends on the individual. No matter where I get inked, I always feel the pain, while I’ve seen Mack, on the other hand, feeling just normal.

But, in both cases, the aftercare tattoo treatment is almost similar and basic. I’m listing down the methods that you need to follow for safe and hygienic aftercare tattoo treatment –

  • Prepare lukewarm water and set it aside. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap, dry them, and then remove the covering from the tattoo
  • Take a piece of cotton cloth, dip it into the lukewarm water, and wash the tattoo; you can also use fragrance-free soap if desired. Afterward, dry the area with another piece of cotton cloth
  • Now, apply Aquaphor, one of the best moisturizers for lips, dry skin, and post-tattoo care. After applying Aquaphor, allow your skin to breathe. If you plan to go outdoors, you can cover the tattooed area with a piece of cotton cloth

Keep following this routine for a week, and TADA! You’re good to go! However, remember not to scratch, pick, or rub the area during its healing phase. Trust me, Aquaphor is the magic cream!

Owl Tattoo
Owl Tattoo

Also Read:

FAQ: Best Tattoo Shops in California

1. What factors should I consider when choosing a tattoo studio in California?

A. Reviews and website engagement are the two most important factors to consider when choosing a tattoo studio in California. Once you have completed both steps and selected at least three studios, visit each one in person and talk to the artists. After these visits, you can decide with whom you feel the most comfortable.

2. What’s the average cost of getting a tattoo at a top-notch California studio?

A. Per-hour sessions can cost you $200.

3. Are there any age restrictions for getting a tattoo in California?

A. As per California Penal Code Section 653 PC, if you’re 18 years old you’re good to go for a tattoo.

4. How can I ensure the cleanliness and safety of a tattoo shop in California?

A. The equipment should always be sterilized after every use, and the chairs, furniture, counters, and the interior of the tattoo studio should be kept clean. Additionally, the air inside should be kept fresh by using perfume from time to time.

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