Laurels
Best Tattoo Artists
in San Diego
2017

Why These Tattoo Artists?

Our goal is to connect people with the best local experts. We scored tattoo artists on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analysed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best tattoo artists in San Diego, CA.

ReviewedCuratedTop Picks28317720

Our Selection Criteria:

  • 1. Reputation

    A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.

  • 2. Credibility

    Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.

  • 3. Experience

    Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.

  • 4. Availability

    Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.

  • 5. Professionalism

    Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

454 Tattoo and Body Piercing

454 Tattoo and Body Piercing serves the Encinitas community with body art. Artist galleries can be viewed online for people to choose which tattooer they would like to work with. 454 Tattoo follows strict standards of cleanliness and sterilization procedures to avoid cross-cotemination, and artists use new and pre-sterilized needles for each client. Jewelry and piercing services are also available, and clients must be 18 years of age or older to receive tattoos.

Encinitas, CA(760) 942-2333

Website

Bearcat Tattoo

Bearcat Tattoo is a San Diego tattoo studio. The shop is frequented for its use of traditional techniques and designs as well as new styles and methods. All tattooers are focused artists and offer diverse work such as large ornate pieces, Japanese-influenced, photorealistic and illustration, surrealism, and neo-traditional. A non-refundable deposit is required for an appointment.

San Diego, CA(619) 269-2979

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Big City Tattoo

Big City Tattoo has been a San Diego tattoo shop since the 1980s. Patrons appreciate the friendly environment and personal collaboration with artists. Clients have access to hand-tap tattoos, custom designs, and artful and effective cover-ups. Big City is experienced with tattoo removal as well, although clients need to discuss the multi-step removal process via a personal consultation. Piercing services are also available.

San Diego, CA(619) 299-4868

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Buju Tattoo

Buju Tattoo is a San Diego tattoo parlor. Clients come to the studio for its open and friendly environment as well as thoughtful attention given to each custom piece of body art. Clients are asked to peruse the galleries and bios of all seven artists on-staff so that they can work with the best style and person to bring their expression to life.

San Diego, CA(619) 866-6856

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Chapter One Tattoo

Chapter One Tattoo provides tattoo artwork in the San Diego area. The shop is known for its friendly, laid-back, and welcoming environment as well as various styles and high quality ink. Clients can look through each artist's gallery and choose from styles including traditional, black and gray realism, letter art, graphic design, graffiti, line work, and Japanese. Instructions for preparing for a visit as well as aftercare are also listed online.

San Diego, CA(619) 255-8400

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Chronic Tattoo

Chronic Tattoo has been a San Diego tattoo studio since 1998. The shop has come to be known as a friendly and clean community of artists who seek to collaborate with clients on desired body art pieces. Owner Tattoo Mike has been inking for over 25 years and has been featured in Tattoo Magazine. Mike is joined by four other resident artists whose portfolios can be seen online. Piercing services and body jewelry are also available.

San Diego, CA(858) 274-9140

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El Rey Tattoo & Barber

El Rey Tattoo & Barber brings 25 years of tattoo experience to the San Diego community. Owner Randy Janson was also behind the now-closed Two Roses Tattoo and focuses on making his clients' body art dreams come to life. A full gallery of Mr. Jansen's work can be seen on El Rey's website, and clients can also take advantage of the studio's full barbershop services.

San Diego, CA(619) 501-0359

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Full Circle Tattoos

Full Circle Tattoos is a San Diego tattoo shop with over 50 years of combined experience. Clients can choose from seven in-house artists, read their bios, peruse their work, and contact them directly. Each tattooer has a different hourly rate, but all try to work with a client's budget to deliver the desired piece of body art. Appointments must be made in-person along with a non-refundable desposit.

San Diego, CA(619) 226-6575

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Funhouse Tattoo & Piercing

Funhouse Tattoo & Piercing is a San Diego tattoo shop. Clients have access to eight artists, all with their own various styles such as Polynesian tribal tattooing, graffiti, fine-line, new school, black and gray, Mexican-Aztec, realism, and portraiture. Artists ask that any drawings or photos of the desired piece be brought in to discuss during a consultation. Clients must also bring valid ID to prove they are 18 years of age.

San Diego, CA(858) 483-7828

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Garnet Tattoo

Garnet Tattoo is a San Diego tattoo studio with 20 years of experience in the field. Founder Shane Wallin specializes in bold, bright tattoos and portraiture but can cater to a diverse range of requests as well for custom designs. Garnett is also widely experienced in post-mastectomy decorative and 3D nipple tattoos and has received much attention for this work. Mr. Wallin has been featured on NBC San Diego, by Susan G. Komen - San Diego, and in TRIP MAGAZIN.

San Diego, CA(619) 942-9737

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Good Neighbor Tattoo

Good Neighbor Tattoo provides tattooing and piercing services in the Escondido area. The shop has eight resident artists whose portfolios can be seen online at the company's website. Custom work is the norm for Good Neighbor, although clients can also choose from a range of flash art pieces the studio uses. Consultations are free, and custom body art does not cost anything extra, but a deposit for all pieces is required and goes toward the final fee.

Escondido, CA(760) 739-8281

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Guru Tattoo

Guru Tattoo is a San Diego tattoo shop. Clients have 16 resident tattooers as well as various guest artists to choose from at any given time, and all talent brings decades of combined experience in the ink world. Guru also sells t-shirts and art prints, and tattoo removal service is available as well. Artists' work has been seen in multiple media outlets such as on TV's Tattoo Wars and in Tattoo Artist, Hard Rock Magazine, Dirty Magic Book, and Southern California Road Trip.

San Diego, CA(858) 270-1070

Website

Hung's Tattoo Parlor

Hung's Tattoo Parlor brings over 25 years of tattoo experience to the San Diego community. Clients come to the studio for its welcoming atmosphere, reasonable fees, and custom design work. A wide range of styles can be requested including tribal, traditional Japanese, portraits, and cover-ups, and portfolios for both Hung and his daughter Trish can be seen on the shop's website. No minors are allowed, and ID must be shown.

San Diego, CA(619) 582-0528

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La Mancha Tattooz

La Mancha Tattooz has been a tattoo parlor in Spring Valley since 2009. Staff is friendly, and clients feel relaxed in a shop known for highly talented artists as well as a wide range of styles including traditional Americana, realistic, black and gray, portraits, new school, sacred geometry, floral, Japanese, Aztec, Celtic, and Polynesian. The company also sells art, tanks, and t-shirts at its shop.

Spring Valley, CA(619) 265-7426

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Left Hand Black

Left Hand Black has been offering tattoo services in San Diego since 2009 and has almost 30 years of combined experience in the field. Owner Turk previously worked at Guru Tattoo and now inks alongside another tattooer and a bevy of famous guest artists. Full portfolios can be viewed online, and clients can also purchase various artworks, prints, books, stickers, and t-shirts. Left Hand Black is closed on Mondays.

San Diego, CA(619) 546-6555

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SD Tattoo

SD Tattoo has been a San Diego tattoo studio for five years. The shop is known for its customer service, thorough consultations, and welcoming staff as well as custom designs. Walk-ins are welcome, but if a client would like a specific artist, appointments are reccommended. SD Tattoo is licensed and follows standards for sterilization and cleanliness. Piercing services are also available.

San Diego, CA(619) 956-9563

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Seven Seas Tattoo

Seven Seas Tattoo is a San Diego tattoo studio with over 20 years of experience in the field. Patrons come to the shop for its reputation of being safe and sterile as well as for its quality designs and friendly staff. The four in-house artists have photos of their work online to be viewed and can cater to most any client suggestion and style desired. Walk-ins are welcome.

San Diego, CA(619) 233-0032

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Tim Lees Tattoo

Tim Lees Tattoo is a San Diego tatto studio. Artist Tim Lees has been inking since 1997 and sees clients by-appointment only at Gold Stripe Tattoo. Mr. Lees has worked all over the world and specializes in surrealism, photo quality, black and gray, traditional/neo-traditional, cover-ups, and full custom hand-drawn tattoos, Mr. Lees made appearances on Ink Master Rivals as well as Ink Master: Redemption.

San Diego, CA(619) 458-9477

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True Fit Tattoo

True Fit Tattoo is a San Diego tattoo studio. Artists work with clients to make sure they feel comfortable during the process and receive high quality pieces. A wide range of styles are available, and people are asked to visit the shop for a consultation to discuss ideas with one of the resident tattooers. True Fit is known to be about making customers happy with their experience as well as their art.

San Diego, CA(619) 450-6031

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Wylde Sydes Tattoo

Wylde Sydes Tattoo offers tattoo services in the San Diego area. The shop specializes in high detail, photorealistic pieces in black and gray but also inks color, portraits, day of the dead, and other custom designs. Customers can peruse the company's online gallery as well as instructions for caring for tattoos after being inked, and Wylde Sydes also employs a piercing artist.

San Diego, CA(619) 575-6792

Website

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