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2024

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Best Tattoo Shops in Santa Monica

Our Recommended Top 12

We did the research for you!

  • Licensing
  • User Reviews
  • Mystery Shopping Calls

Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Santa Monica Tattoo Shops on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

30

Reviewed

22

Curated

12

Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

Website
Los Angeles, CA 90034
  • Watercolor Tattoos
  • Traditional Tattoos
  • Neotraditional Tattoos
  • Portraits

Why choose this provider?

Rabble Rouser Tattoo is a family owned and operated neighborhood shop in Los Angeles with a collective of custom tattoo artists with over 60 years of combined professional tattooing experience. The studio requires an in-person consultation before appointments can be set, as well as a non-refundable deposit which will be applied to the final tattoo session fee. The price per tattoo starts from $100 and goes up from there, while tattoos that require multiple sessions are charged at an hourly rate of $150 to $250.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (143)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
1809 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90291
  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Black Diamond Tattoo is a tattoo studio located in Los Angeles that extends body art services to the people of Santa Monica. It was established in 2008 by a group of artists who share the same views on the culture behind tattooing. They can create bespoke tattoos in a wide range of styles, such as American traditional, black and gray realism, and geometric. Black Diamond Tattoo maintains a retail space, where sailor tanks, t-shirts, trucker hats, and snapbacks are available.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (408)
Facebook
4.7 / 5 (95)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
Studio City, CA 91604
  • Watercolor Tattoos
  • Piercings
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Studio City Tattoo Parlor has been providing electric tattooing by top artists, expert body piercing, and gold body jewelry since 1992. All the parlor’s artists are Occupational Safety and Health Administration certified annually in the latest blood-borne pathogen and anti-cross contamination technique and handling standards, as well as being certified by the Los Angeles County Health Department. The parlor has won many awards such as the BEST Tattoo & Piercing Winner for 2014, 2012 and 2009, and the number one Best Tattooing and Piercing in the Cityvoter.com Hot List of 2014.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1132)
Facebook
4.7 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
830 Lincoln Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90291
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Ink Ink Tattoo is a female-only tattoo shop in Venice founded in 1995. The shop’s founder has over 25 years of tattooing experience and prefers working in black and gray but also versatile in a variety of styles including color. The studio has a policy of not inking Friday the 13th tattoos and also prefers appointments. The minimum fee for getting a tattoo at the shop is $100 same as the deposit for appointments, which can rise as high as $180 for custom and cover up works.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (63)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
3227 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Broken Art Tattoo offers more than a decade of experience in custom tattoo services in Los Angeles. The studio’s artists are comfortable with a variety of styles such as color, black and gray, portrait, and lettering. The studio has a tireless persona which extends through all services rendered. This has earned the studio great reviews and clientele spanning the globe. The studio operates out of a basement, and customers can schedule a consultation via the studio’s website or email.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (332)
Google
4.5 / 5 (53)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
1201 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Ocean Front Tattoo is a tattoo shop servicing Santa Monica and nearby areas for years with body modification services. Its list of services includes tattoos, cover-ups, portraits, and body piercing. This shop's artists come from all backgrounds and specialties, working with portrait, pet memoir, and 3D designs. They accept custom requests and can work with the clients to come up with one-of-a-kind pieces. Online booking is available but walk-ins are also welcome.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
4.6 / 5 (300)
Google
4.8 / 5 (115)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
7377a Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Memoirs Tattoo is studio featuring a pool of artists offering custom tattooing services in Los Angeles. All artists at the studio manage their own schedules and communicate via emails only. The studio does not accept walk-in clientele. Customers are allowed to bring in a guest, but no children or pets are allowed. The shop is listed as one of the best tattoo shops in Los Angeles by the Hollywood List.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5

Website
7811 Sunset blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
  • Color
  • Geometry
  • Graphic
  • Chicano
  • Traditional
  • Realism
  • Micro Realism
  • Fine Lines

Why choose this provider?

Nautilus Tattoo Studio serves clients throughout Santa Monica. Its team comprises multiple artists who provide different tattoo styles, from black and grey realism, micro realism, and fine lines to geometry, floral, graphic, and Japanese. Clients can schedule their appointments three months in advance. After selecting their preferred artists, they can call the studio, fill out an online form, or send a detailed email to book their appointment. Mini tattoos can take less than an hour, while full sessions may last between four to six hours.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
5.0 / 5 (24)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
7274 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
  • Piercings

Why choose this provider?

Body Electric is a tattoo shop located on the iconic Melrose Avenue extending its services to people coming from Santa Monica. Established in 1992, it has played a prominent role in the flourishing of body art in the community, providing artistic tattoo designs and body piercing services. Its resident artists specialize in a wide range of styles, from illustrative blackwork to linework. Body Electric maintains old-school values while blending them modern safety standards to ensure the health of its clientele.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (820)
Google
4.0 / 5 (211)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (117)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
4644 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Dark Horse Tattoo is a Los Angeles tattoo parlor founded in 2010. The studio’s founder has more than 15 years of professional tattooing experience and specializes in traditional Americana imagery as well as Japanese and Asian motifs. The studio also hosts guest artists regularly to spice up the tattooing style offered to customers. The shop has a relaxed atmosphere and is happy to work with whatever customers have in mind.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (41)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
5503 North Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90042
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

The Martlet Tattoo Parlor is a Los Angeles studio that has been providing tattooing and artistic services since 2011. The studio prides itself as the place to get “bright, bold, classic, and clean tattoos.” Walk-ins and appointments are welcomed by the studio. The studio is open every day from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. except on Monday. The studio also invites other artists regularly to keep the style offered as diverse as possible.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (52)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Website
2518 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291
  • Traditional Tattoos

Why choose this provider?

Lincoln Tattoo Company operates in Santa Monica, influenced by the westside subculture of skaters, surfing, and punk rock. It was founded by Jason Stores and Paul Friedman. The tattoo artists have years of experience in the industry and are committed to creating clean tattoos that stand the test of time. They adapt to the new community and handle different tattooing styles, such as black and grey, color, fine line, realism, and portrait tattoo designs. They also offer cover-up tattoos and accommodate walk-ins.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.0 / 5 (67)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (49)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Introduction

    A tattoo is body art that leaves permanent designs or pictures on the skin. They're applied via needle by depositing ink onto the second layer of skin. While the first tattoos were applied manually with a single needle that was first saturated in ink, today's tattoos are done by a machine. These machines feature multiple needles that pierce the skin simultaneously, speeding up the process and creating tattoos that are more visually appealing.

    Tattoos are usually done in licensed tattoo shops. These shops adhere to health and cleaning standards and are typically regulated by state and municipal governments. While tattoos are generally safe, there are associated risks, including skin infections. Any person getting a tattoo is legally required to be at least 18 years of age. It's also inadvisable for anyone who isn't in good health to get a tattoo, as the body requires time and energy to heal and prevent infection.

  • What should you know before getting your first tattoo?

    Before getting tattooed, it's important to think about design and placement. A tattoo is a permanent fixture on the body, and it's important not to rush into things. You should also consider the artist's background and take time to look into their portfolio to ensure their style best suits the tattoo you want.

  • What are some examples of tattoo styles?

    There are many types of tattoo styles, and it's important for a person to familiarize themselves with them before they select a design. Styles include:

    • Americana: Bold lines, vivid colors
    • Japanese: Large images that cover the back, arms, and legs
    • Black and Grey: Colorless grayscale designs
    • Stick-n-Poke: Thick, bold, black lines and small designs
    • Blackwork: Bold black lines and larger geometric shapes

  • Is tipping expected & how much to tip on your tattoo?

    While most tattoo artists don't expect tips, it's often appreciated. If you're happy with the work your tattoo artist has done, consider tipping between 15% and 25%. If the tattoo requires multiple sessions, a flat amount per session is appropriate.

  • What are some basic tattoo aftercare tips?

    It's important to follow all aftercare directions provided by the tattoo artist. Usually, artists will advise clients to ensure that tattoos are kept clean and dry. After showering, the tattoo should be gently patted dry and treated with Vaseline or another tattoo aftercare product.

  • What are the best practices for healing a tattoo?

    After removing the dressing, it's important to keep the tattoo clean, dry, and uncovered. Applying Vaseline or another recommended ointment can help to speed up the healing process. As they heal, tattoos can sometimes itch, but it's vital that you don't scratch or pick at it.

  • What are the most and least painful places to get a tattoo?

    Parts of the body that have the most nerve endings are generally the most painful to have tattooed. That includes the head, ears, and face. Places that don't have a lot of fat, such as the fingers, shoulder blades, and feet, are typically more painful. The least painful parts of the body to get tattooed include the outer arm, buttocks, and thighs.