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Best Tattoo Shops in Wilmington, NC

Our Recommended Top 8

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



8Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.


featured provider = Featured Provider

118 South 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 Rating

Review Sources

4.9 (96)
5.0 (57)

Why choose this provider?

Good Graces Tattoo handles various tattoo works for customers in Wilmington. The firm is home to a trio of experienced artists who can create multiple styles of tattoos, including neo-traditional color, black and gray statue, and western/traditional techniques. While clients can select from pre-designed flash sets, the professionals at this tattoo shop can also create custom designs made to bring each customer's vision to life. Good Graces Tattoo can also produce illustrations and graphic design work.

  • Traditional Tattoos

105 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 Rating

Review Sources

4.5 (43)
4.5 (7)

Why choose this provider?

Marks of Distinction is a tattoo shop that has been serving the residents of Wilmington since 1992. Its tattoo artists can cater to different sizes and styles of tattoo artwork and offer classic flash sheets and original designs to choose from. They can also work with clients on custom-designed body art pieces. Operating four days a week, Marks of Distinction holds a certification from the NHC Health Department, ensuring that its work environment is kept clean and sterile.

  • Traditional Tattoos

5905 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC 28409 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (17)

Why choose this provider?

Infocus Tattoo is a tattoo parlor based in Wilmington that offers custom tattoo services. It is home to a duo of tattooers, namely Matt Allegretto and Jason Moore, who specialize in a variety of tattoo styles, such as black and gray realism, traditional Americana, and colorwork. To ensure the comfort of clients during their tattoo sessions, the owners prioritized creating a safe and relaxing environment for all guests. Interested individuals may book an appointment directly on Infocus tattoo’s website.

  • Body Art

1533 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 Rating

Review Sources

4.5 (9)
4.9 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Cape Fear Tattoo has been operating in the Wilmington area for more than 25 years. Its five tattoo professionals bring a wide selection of styles, including black and gray realism, traditional Japanese, a mash-up of traditional and pop culture, and color. It offers walk-in services for simple tattoos from existing designs but requires appointments for more complex pieces. Aside from tattooing, the firm also offers piercing services and jewelry. The tattoo and piercing shop is known for its high-quality services and artistry.

  • Traditional Tattoos

2165 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403 Rating

Review Sources

4.9 (97)
5.0 (12)

Why choose this provider?

Artfuel Inc. is a Wilmington-based tattoo studio that's home to five experienced tattoo artists. Each artist specializes in specific art styles, and clients can browse each of their portfolios for references of previous works done. While standard designs are available, the studio accepts custom designs and can adopt different styles, such as landscape, nature, American traditional, and black and gray realism. Apart from its five full-time artists, the studio brings in 1 or 2 guest artists at any given time.

  • Body Art

5424 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 Rating

Why choose this provider?

Invoke Tattoo and Art Gallery is a tattoo parlor and, at the same time, an art gallery of classical and contemporary art pieces in Wilmington. It aims to deliver tattoo services within a creative environment of serious artists. Its professional tattoo artists strive to provide the highest quality tattoo services while supporting local artists and artworks at the same time. Invoke Tattoo and Art Gallery aims to unite the local tattoo community through its works and the talents of its artists.

  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

21 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 Rating

Review Sources

5.0 (13)

Why choose this provider?

Glenn's Tattoo Service is a tattoo and body piercing shop serving clients in Wilmington. The studio is home to professional artists who specialize in a wide range of styles, such as custom work, Japanese-inspired themes, cover-ups, portraits, black and gray work, and traditional designs. Clients can browse through each artist's portfolio by visiting their respective social networking sites posted on the website. They are also encouraged to call regarding appointments, hours of operation, and additional information about tattoos and piercings.

  • Body Art

3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 Rating

Review Sources

4.7 (121)

Why choose this provider?

Hardwire Tattoo & Body Piercing has been offering body art services in Wilmington for more than 25 years. Veteran-owned, the studio has a team of tattoo artists with a combined tattooing experience of over 100 years and can take on a wide array of styles, such as Neo-traditional, black and gray imagery, portraiture, and color work. Hardwire Tattoo & Body Piercing makes use of the latest technology and equipment to ensure the health and safety of clients.

  • Piercings
  • Traditional Tattoos

Compare our Top Tattoo Shops

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Good Graces Tattoo
118 South 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Marks of Distinction
105 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Infocus Tattoo
5905 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC 28409
Cape Fear Tattoo
1533 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403
Art Fuel Inc.
2165 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28403
Invoke Tattoo and Art Gallery
5424 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403
Glenn's Tattoo Service
21 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
Hardwire Tattoo & Body Piercing
3500 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403


  • 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.