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2024

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Best Tattoo Shops in Chicago, IL

Our Recommended Top 14

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 Chicago Tattoo Shops on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

600Reviewed

365Curated

14Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

5415 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.8 (1214)
Facebook
4.5 (551)
Yelp
4.5 (284)

Why choose this provider?

Featuring local and guest artists from around the world, Chicago Ink Tattoo & Body Piercing is a custom tattoo and piercing shop serving the Chicago area within the five boroughs and surrounding areas. Clients speak highly of their expert piercing services, clean shop, comfortable presence, knowledgeable and friendly staff, high-quality artwork, and professional manner.

  • Traditional Tattoos
  • Portraits
  • Piercings

2407 South Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60623

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Facebook
5.0 (370)
Google
4.7 (160)
Yelp
4.5 (54)

Why choose this provider?

Ageless Arts Tattoo and Body Piercing serves Chicago with professional tattoo services. It was founded in 2002 and is one of the oldest tattoo shops in Chicago. Clients can bring their own tattoo design ideas and the shop's experienced tattoo artists can bring these designs to life. Furthermore, each tattoo artist has their own portfolio, giving clients the opportunity to decide who is the right artist for them. Ageless Arts Tattoo and Body Piercing has been featured in magazines such as TimeOut and Chicago Tribune.

  • Body Art

1008 West Argyle Street, Chicago, IL 60640

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.0 (141)
Facebook
5.0 (28)
Yelp
5.0 (26)

Why choose this provider?

Rocket Tattoo is a tattoo studio in Chicago that offers a wide range of body art services. It encourages its clients to bring their own ideas or choose a piece from the many flash designs its resident tattooists have created. The studio employs all-around tattoo artists who can work on different styles, such as black and gray realism, American traditional, pin-ups, and blackwork. For the safety of its customers, Rocket Tattoo maintains a clean environment and practice stringent disinfection protocols.

  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

904 North California, Chicago, IL 60622

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (16)

Why choose this provider?

Located in Humboldt Park in Chicago, Brown Brothers Tattoo is a cash-only tattoo shop that serves the area since 2014. Tattoo styles the artists in the shop provide includes portraits, black and gray, cover-ups, custom, illustrative, fine line, mystical, space age, unknown, sensitive, realistic, tribal, cartoon, classic, horror, gooey, sinister, creepy, Japanese, American traditional, and more. Clients speak highly of the talented artists, comforting presence, reasonable pricing, personable and knowledgeable artists, high-quality artwork, collaboration, professional manner, and excellent atmosphere.

  • Traditional Tattoos

1935 1/2 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (135)

Why choose this provider?

Speakeasy Custom Tattoo is a team of artists located in Wicker Park, Chicago. They work closely with clients to create original and custom tattoos that match their vision and preferences. Although the professionals specialize in large tattoos, they also work on smaller pieces. Clients are encouraged to check each artist's portfolio and directly get in touch with their preferred tattooist to set an appointment. Patrick Cornolo, who has been a tattoo artist since 1994, established Speakeasy Custom Tattoo in 2008.

  • Traditional Tattoos

3056 North Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (74)
Yelp
4.0 (20)

Why choose this provider?

Goodkind Tattoo Co., is a custom tattoo shop operating in Chicago. Owner Rob Goodkind started his tattooing career in 2006 and specializes in illustrative and Japanese work. The shop specializes in many types of genres with the incorporation of traditional tattooing roots. Clients speak highly of the shop and its artists' professional manner, cleanliness, accommodating scheduling, talent, and artistic vision. Moreover, the shop operates a store that offers a wide range of products such as apparel and prints.

  • Neotraditional Tattoos
  • Traditional Tattoos

1606 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Expertise.com Rating

Why choose this provider?

Infamous Ink Studio is a tattoo studio located in Chicago. It carries a large selection of tattoo designs created by its resident artists who have 40 years’ worth of combined experience. They specialize in a wide range of tattooing styles, such as black and gray realism, colorwork, portraiture, and watercolor. In addition to these, Infamous Ink Studio offers basic body piercing services. The studio upholds stringent disinfection standards for the health and safety of its clients.

  • Body Art
  • Piercings

2521 South Archer, Chicago, IL 60608

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.0 (69)
Facebook
5.0 (46)
Yelp
4.5 (29)

Why choose this provider?

Hammerhead Tattoo is a tattoo studio that serves Chicago and the surrounding locations. Its artists use color realism style, and it also specializes in several styles such as black and grey, lettering, anime, neo-traditional, geometric patterns, and Japanese. Each design is custom-drawn to fit the client's preference. The studio's team of tattoo artists has over 50 years of combined experience in the industry. Hammerhead Tattoo also has customized merchandise like beanies, caps, and t-shirts that clients can order in-store or online.

  • Body Art
  • Portraits

Chicago, IL

Expertise.com Rating

Why choose this provider?

Chicago’s Heart-N-Soul is a tattoo shop that serves clients in the area. It is familiar with various tattoo styles, including color, black and gray, cover-ups, flower tattoos, and custom tattoo design work. Among the products that the shop recommends are the Aquafor antibiotic ointment, Ivory bar, and Aveeno hand lotion. Shop owner Chicago Bill is a member of the professional team of his sponsor, Goliath Needles. He has been tattooing custom designs in the area for more than 26 years.

  • Traditional Tattoos

5056 West Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.3 (261)
Facebook
5.0 (4)

Why choose this provider?

Chitown Tattoo & Body Piercing is a piercing and tattooing studio that has been serving Chicago since 2007. Its artists are professionals provide a variety of designs, including custom work, coverups, portraits, and new and old-school tattoos. In addition, they make sure to guide clients through their tattoo and body piercing venture while using quality inks and supplies to produce the best results. They are committed to innovation, respect for individuality, and freedom of expression.

  • Piercings
  • Neotraditional Tattoos
  • Traditional Tattoos

4440 South Archer Avenue, Chicago, IL 60632

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.6 (166)
Yelp
4.0 (34)

Why choose this provider?

Archer Avenue Tattoo has been serving the Chicago area since 2000. It offers tattoo and piercing services and occasionally invites guest artists to grace the shop. Archer Avenue Tattoo provides a range of tattoo styles that include portrait work, traditional Japanese, color, traditional, and black and gray. Its roster of artists and piercers strives to turn a painful experience into an enjoyable one by providing a clean and safe environment. To ensure this, the shop enforces safety protocols with regards to intoxication, clothing, hygiene, and hydration, and for all clients and their companions to follow.

  • Traditional Tattoos
  • Piercings

1459 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (522)

Why choose this provider?

In business since 1997, Deluxe Tattoo aims to provide services that range from simple name tattoos to full-sleeve work. Serving the Chicago area, the studio has a team of artists that focuses on executing quality tattoo work in various styles. Former customers have commended Deluxe Tattoo for its friendly and professional staff, craftsmanship, and clean environment. The studio has also been recognized by the Chicago Reader as the Best Tattoo Shop for two consecutive years.

  • Traditional Tattoos

2221 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.8 (75)
Yelp
5.0 (73)

Why choose this provider?

Revolution Tattoo has been providing tattoo services to Chicago residents since 2004. Its team of tattoo artists has decades of combined industry experience, providing clients with various tattoo style options. The team specializes in black and grey photo-realism, traditional Americana and European, neo-Polynesian tribal, and portraits. Custom tattoos at Revolution Tattoo require a consultation, but its team allows walk-ins. Its owners, Omar and Cheri Gutierrez, keep merchandise available for sale.

  • Traditional Tattoos

1150 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.5 (212)
Facebook
4.6 (149)
Yelp
4.0 (127)

Why choose this provider?

Taylor Street Tattoo is a Chicago-based studio with a team of artists that have expertise in custom and classic designs. Founded in 2004 as a walk-in shop, the studio offers consultations before the tattoo process to determine options for style, size, and placement. According to former clients, Taylor Street Tattoo has a talented and friendly staff as well as a comfortable atmosphere, great vision, and accommodating nature suitable for those getting first-time tattoos.

  • Traditional Tattoos

Compare our Top Tattoo Shops

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Chicago Ink Tattoo & Body Piercing
5415 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641
Ageless Arts Tattoo - Little Village - Chicago
2407 South Kedzie, Chicago, IL 60623
Rocket Tattoo
1008 West Argyle Street, Chicago, IL 60640
Brown Brothers Tattoo
904 North California, Chicago, IL 60622
Speakeasy Custom Tattoo
1935 1/2 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
GoodKind Tattoo Co.
3056 North Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618
Infamous Ink Studio
1606 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
Hammerhead Tattoo
2521 South Archer, Chicago, IL 60608
Chicago’s Heart-N-Soul
Chicago, IL
Chitown Tattoo and Body Piercing
5056 West Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60630
Archer Avenue Tattoo
4440 South Archer Avenue, Chicago, IL 60632
Deluxe Tattoo
1459 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613
Revolution Tattoo
2221 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
Taylor St. Tattoo
1150 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607

FAQs

  • 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.