9 Top Rated Tattoo Shops in San Francisco

Tattoos are traditionally associated with bikers, mariners, and criminals throughout history, although they can now be regarded as fashion, cosmetics, and art. Tattoo acceptance is increasing in Western countries, even though it is still frowned upon in some groups. However, tattooed persons are still stereotyped as risk-takers, irresponsible, strong drinkers, and users of illicit drugs. Today, let us focus on the top rated tattoo shops in San Francisco that will surely give you a satisfactory result.

tattoo shops in San Francisco

Individuals can create their social standing and identity in today’s culture because they no longer belong to one. Many young people prefer to have a tattoo to find their identity. Tattoos are worn by people from all areas of life, including attorneys, physicians, monks, and nurses. Unfortunately, they are often associated with dangerous behavior and societal stigma. They’re still about identifying yourself and connecting with others, but they can also be about art or fashion.

Given their long history, it’s maybe not unexpected that tattoos have resurfaced in popularity. Celebrities, athletes, and fashion industry members are behind this sudden hike in tattoo trends. In addition, tattoos have evolved into many forms of personal identification, ranging from tribal to low-class to upper-class, and are now widely accepted at all social levels.

Tattoos are not merely a symbol of the inventive rebel. Instead, they are considered self-expression that is beyond social class or status. One in every five persons, and nearly half of all millennials, have tattoos. The increase of social media crazes like Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit increases the craze for tattoo art, and tattoos are no longer considered a negative mark in job interviews and corporate positions. In addition, celebrities have made tattoos even more famous and desirable than ever before. 

RELATED: 41 Golf Tattoo Ideas – Swing Into Style With These Creative Designs

Here are the 9 top-ranking tattoo shops in San Francisco that you need to know about.

1) Black & Blue Tattoo

Opened in 1995, Black & Blue Tattoo is the best and most reputable tattoo place in San Francisco. They are one of the finest places to get inked in San Francisco. Women-owner, biased free, and diversified are the reasons that make it the quality and most known tattoo shop in San Francisco. Clients come from all around the country and the world to see skilled and respected artists. The parlor offers walk-ins, but it is better to select the artist online and contact them directly to schedule an appointment.  

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: blackandbluetattoo

Contact: 381 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 

(415) 626-0770

Website: blackandbluetattoo.com

Credit: blackandbluetattoo

RELATED: Tattoo Blowout: What Is It, and What Can I Do?

2) Black Heart Tattoo

Established in 2004, Blackheart tattoo is San Francisco’s best tattoo parlor due to its ever-evolving energy, creativity, and thorough treatment of the tattoo process. This Mission shop promises (and delivers) “bad-ass tattooer.” The establishment is spotless, with all the required safety procedures to put customers at ease.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: blackhearttattoo

There’s also a good mood in the air, which will make you feel even better once you arrive. Additionally, they are well-known for providing customer consultations during and after tattoo sessions. Finally, the personnel at the business are all friendly and helpful, which will come in handy if you’re visiting for the first time.

Contact: 177 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 431-2100

Website: blackhearttattoosf.com

Credit: blackhearttattoo

3) Black Serum Tattoo

Brucius, a San Francisco citizen and famous tattoo artist known for his distinct, creative linework and excellent blackwork, is the owner of this finest tattoo shop. In addition, he is famed for his natural, scientific, and medieval illustrations and tattoos in an etching and engraving style.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit:  blackstone_tattoo_

Black Serum Tattoo is located in the Aim District and follows the Brucius mission of providing the most excellent tattoo work possible. They are known for their careful consideration of the tattoo process the whole time. As a result, they make you feel quite welcome when you first go in. The specialist does an excellent job, and you will feel like an entirely different person afterward.

Contact: 310 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103 

(415) 909-9437

Website: blackserum.com

Credit: blackstone_tattoo_

RELATED: When Can I Start Using Lotion On My Tattoo?

4) Castro Tattoos 

Founded in 2004, Castro Tattoos is one of the established and oldest tattoo shops of San Francisco. Located in Castro, the shop is one of the most cultural and client-conscious body art shops. The professionals in the shop offer a large variety of styles like reality, culture, ethnicity, and more.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: castrotattoosf

They’ve won numerous prizes, including first place at the Body Art Expo, That Damn Tattoo Contest, and Festival of Hell City Tattoo. The experts in the tattoo parlor are very cordial, professional, and communicative throughout the whole tattoo process, making it easier and more comfortable.  

Contact: 3991 17th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

(415) 701-1970

Website: castrotattoo.com

Credit: castrotattoosf

5) Moth and Dagger Tattoo

Moth and Dagger Tattoo is San Francisco’s premier tattoo shop, with competent, professional, experienced, and patient tattoo artists. This modest business employs only three experts, but those are producing the city’s best tattoo work.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: mothanddagger

Mario D, specializing in illustrations, portraiture, black & grey, and color realism, owns the tattoo shop. They’re known for making timeless art that will stay with you for the rest of your life. So schedule an appointment or drop by Moth and Dagger Tattoo to acquire your next masterpiece. 

Contact: 610 Bush St San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 834-5127

Website: mothanddaggertattoo.com

Credit:  mothanddagger

6) Ed Hardys Tattoo City

Ed Hardys Tattoo City is San Francisco’s best and most well-known tattoo shop. Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City is San Francisco’s leading tattoo studio, having opened in 1991 in historic North Beach. The specialists will make you feel very welcome when you first walk in. The expert conducts a beautiful job, and you will feel transformed entirely later.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: tattoo_city

One of their primary advantages is that they provide consumers with helpful advice on how to care about their tattoos once they are finished. Furthermore, their tattoo artists will turn your tattoo ideas into breathtaking works of art. They have the city’s most transparent, warmest, and best-looking businesses.

Contact: 700 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

( 415) 345-9437

Website: tattoocitysf.com

Credit: tattoo_city

RELATED: How Long After Getting A Tattoo Can You Go Swimming?

7) Idle Hand Tattoo 

Established in 2004, Idle Hand Tattoo is the top-ranked tattoo parlor in San Francisco, situated in the beautiful Lower Haight neighborhood. Traditional tattoos and portraiture are their specialties. They always accommodate walk-ins, but they also schedule appointments for individuals who want to prepare ahead.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: idlehandsf

The artists at the studio will provide you with a comfortable and cheerful atmosphere that will make your tattoo experience one to remember. They provide bespoke creativity in a professional setting, reflecting San Francisco’s long and illustrious heritage of tattooing.

In addition, this store offers excellent and polite service. Idle Hand Tattoo is the best and friendliest tattoo shop you’ll ever visit. They make you feel quite welcome when you first go in. The tattoo artist does an excellent job, and you will feel fully transformed.

Contact: 575 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117

(415) 552-4353 

Website: idlehandsf.com

Credit: idlehandsf

8) Tuesday Tattoo

Tuesday tattoo is the best tattoo and piercing shop of San Francisco. They adhere to a thorough tattooing safety procedure, which delights their consumers. They also provide cutting-edge equipment that is safe and easy to use on human skin. Most importantly, the establishment is spotlessly clean, with all necessary safety procedures to put a customer at ease.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit: tuesdaytattoo

There’s also a good mood in the air, which will make you feel even better once you arrive. Overall, it’s one of the best tattoo parlors in San Francisco. The ability to learn, excellent customer service, and the aesthetic vision of the artists are the factors that distinguish them as the best and highest-rated tattoo shop in San Francisco.

Contact: 4025 Judah St San Francisco, CA 94122

(415) 242-6028                               

Website: tuesdaytattoo.com

Credit: tuesdaytattoo

9) Shannon Archuleta Tattoo

Shannon Archuleta Tattoo is also one of the best tattoo & piercing places in San Francisco. The fantastic thing about the tattoo industry is that they make tattoos to your exact specifications. Professionalism, cleanliness, superior creativity, and proper sanitation are just a few qualities that set them apart from the competition. Visit Shannon Archuleta Tattoo if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo.

tattoo shops in San Francisco
Credit:  sarchuleta

Contact: 3150 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 336-9406

Website: shannonarchuleta.com

Credit: sarchuleta

RELATED: Why Do I Feel Unwell After Getting A Tattoo?


Tattoos are viewed in a variety of ways. It is considered ‘cool’ among the youth. Others see it as an opportunity to make a fashion statement. Tattoos are also seen as a status symbol by others. The tattoo studios described in this article offer unparalleled services. Tattoos have a long history in San Francisco. Tattoo parlors may be found in every corner of this lovely metropolis. The advantage of these establishments is that you, as a customer, have virtually endless possibilities. 

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What should you know before having a tattoo?

Many measures while getting a tattoo. Here are a few examples:

  • Shower
  • Do not bring your children  
  • Gather all essential documentation
  • Get an estimate of the cost 
  • Eat appropriately before your appointment 
  • Don’t mix words and pictures 
  • Get an idea of what you want to tattoo 
  • Just because you saw it on Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s a good tattoo

When should I avoid getting a tattoo?

You should avoid tattoos if you are: 

  • Drunk  
  • High  
  • Pregnant 
  • Pre or Post Surgery 
  • Sunburned 
  • Haven’t showered 
  • Under the age of 18

How long does it take for a tattoo or piercing to heal?

Most of your new tattoos will have healed within the first two weeks. However, because the skin is still healing and regenerating, it will take 4-6 weeks for your skin to return to its previous form.

RELATED: Tattoo Healing: Why Do Tattoos Bubble Up, and How Can You Prevent it?

What causes itching after getting a tattoo?

It is a standard component of the healing process. The itching begins around a week after the tattoo, as the skin regenerates. It is pretty common. This is where good moisturizers come in handy, but do not scratch it. If the lotion doesn’t ease the itch, run it under cold water for a few minutes. 

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What is the minimum age for getting a tattoo?

The minimum age for obtaining a tattoo is 16 years old, with a parent present and sufficient identification (birth certificate with both names and photo IDs for child and parent).

RELATED: Legal Status of Tattooing and Piercing In the United States

What should you keep in mind before getting a tattoo?

Make sure you’re well-rested, hydrated, and haven’t eaten. Aside from that, shower, fully charge your phone or tablet, and avoid bringing in your numerous buddies (1-2 are acceptable).

Are tattoo inks dangerous?

Inks undergo extensive testing before being placed onto the market; however, not all brands are high quality, and not all regions control tattoo ink. You should ask your tattoo artist whose inks they use and make sure they’re from a reputable brand.

Does getting a tattoo hurt?

Yes, getting a tattoo is a painful experience. Needles penetrate your skin and inject ink at roughly 10-15 needle drops per second, fast enough not to pierce it and cause bleeding but slow enough not to rip it.

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Megan Ivy