Here is the completed list of the best tattoo shops in San Diego based on artists, our local laser specialist recommendations, awards, and reviews. We will provide you with the tattoo shop’s address, phone number, website, Instagram handles, and background. Check out the list below:
Source: Mike, SD Tattoo & Body Piercing
Known as the best tattoo shop in San Diego, SD Tattoo & Body Piercing is an award-winning tattoo studio. All of their tattoo artists and piercers are health department certified and licensed. The shop is located behind the San Diego sports arena and was founded in 2011. They have been awarded and mentioned in the San Diego A-List, Mission Valley News, Expertise, and CityBeat. They also provide consultations to create your custom tattoo, whether it’s a new school style, realism, black and gray, neo-traditional, or portraits, they’ve got an artist for you. Check out the shop’s work on Instagram @sdtattoo.
Source: Fabio Fontinelle, Bay Ink Tattoo
Bay Ink Tattoo is a custom tattoo shop that takes pride in having a clean, professional, and friendly environment. They offer in-person or virtual consultations for your tattoo and accept walk-ins daily. Owner Fabio Fontinelle (@fabiofontinelle) specializes in portrait realism, but there’s a tattoo artist for any style or taste. The shop has a classy feel with chandelier lights, black and gray features, and gold-framed paintings. Check out this SD tattoo parlor on Instagram @bayinktattoo.
Source: Cash Scott, Chapter One Tattoo
Chapter One Tattoo is a tattoo studio that prides itself on being respectful community artists that give exceptional customer service and they provide a relaxed environment. Owner Cash Scott (@cashscotttattoo) specializes in realism, Japanese traditional, black and gray, and portrait work. He is often sought after for his incredible realism portraits. This San Diego tattoo shop was founded in 2011 and has won 13 awards & accreditations. Check out the studio’s work on Instagram @chapteronetattoo.
Source: Frank Chavez, Flying Panther Tattoo
Known as one of the best tattoo shops in San Diego, Flying Panther Tattoo attracts tattoo enthusiasts locally and worldwide. They take pride in providing a clean, professional, safe, and friendly environment. The shop specializes in a wide variety of styles from American classic traditional, traditional Japanese, black and gray, Chicano, Fineline, dainty blackwork, and geometric tattoos. The featured photo is from resident tattoo artist, Frank Chavez (@frankchaveztattooer) who focuses primarily on American Classic traditional tattooing. The tattoo shop accepts walk-in appointments daily for newfound tattoo lovers or enthusiasts. Check out their work on Instagram @flyingpanthertattoo.
Source: Bill Canales, Full Circle Tattoos
Full Circle Tattoos was founded in 2008 by tattoo artist Bill Canales (@billcanales). Bill has been tattooing San Diego since 1992 and primarily specializes in custom large-scale Japanese tattoos. Full Circle Tattoos is home to 10 resident tattoo artists who range in specialties from tribal, black and gray, Japanese traditional, and fine lines. The studio prefers to have consultations with clients before setting up tattoo appointments. Check out this San Diego tattoo shops work on Instagram @fullcircletattoo.
Source: Seth Reynolds, Funhouse Tattoo San Diego
If you look up tattoo shops in San Diego, you might come across this unique tattoo shop, Funhouse tattoos. They were also the official consultants for The Hangover 2’s tattoo scenes. Funhouse Tattoos offers a variety of specialized tattoo artists, from Polynesian tribal, Mexican-Aztec, graffiti, realism, black and gray, and more! You can find any style to fit your tattoo needs. The featured Polynesian tribal tattoo was done by San Diego tattoo artist Seth Reynolds, who is the founder of Funhouse Tattoos in SD. You can walk in or book a consultation appointment for a custom tribal or Mexican-Aztec tattoo on their website and check out their work on Instagram @funhousetattoo.
Source: Aaron Della Vedova, Guru Tattoo
Guru Tattoo is one of the best San Diego tattoo shops with two locations along the west coast. Founder Aaron Della Vedova (@aarondellavedova) specializes in large and bold full coverage pieces. He primarily focuses on Japanese-style art, as featured by the two wolves. You can also find artists at this shop who specialize in other styles such as traditional Americana, black and gray, illustrative, and tribal tattoos. Guru Tattoo also offers prints or clothing materials on their shop’s website with designs from the resident artists. Check out this shop’s work on Instagram @gurutattoo.
Source: Teer, Propaganda Tattoo
Propaganda Tattoo has been serving San Diego tattoos since 2005. Founder of Propaganda Tattoo, Teer started tattooing in San Diego in 1999. He specializes in a stylized realism, lettering, and black and gray work. In one of the smaller shops in the city, there are three resident artists who are dedicated to providing sterile and custom tattoos for their clients. Check out the shop’s work on Instagram @propagandatattoo.
Source: Jasmine Worth, Remington Tattoo Parlor
Remington Tattoo Parlor is one of the best San Diego tattoo shops. Specializing in illustrative tattoos, traditional, black and gray, full color, biomechanical, Japanese, neo-traditional, floral, geometric, custom designs, and more. Their aim is to create a memorable experience and provide a clean environment. They take pride in providing quality tattoos no matter how big or small and offer consultation appointments to customize your tattoo inspiration. Check out the shop’s work on Instagram @remingtontattoo.
Source: Tomas Archuleta, True Fit Tattoo Studio
True Fit Tattoo Studio was founded by Tomas Archuleta (@art.chuleta) who started his tattooing journey at 16 years old. With experience working in some of the best shops in the United States, he moved to San Diego in 2009 where he started the True Fit tattoo shop. Tomas primarily focuses on Japanese, Americana, and color realism but you can also find amazing artists in this studio who specialize in lettering, black and gray, and cover-up tattoos. You can book a consultation appointment on their website to curate the perfect tattoo for you and check out the shop’s work on Instagram @truefuttattoo.
Source: Chad Whitson, The Balancing Act Tattoo Craft
Balancing Act Tattoo Craft is a private studio in San Diego and is owned by tattoo artist Chad Whitson (@chadwhitsontattoo). Chad has been tattooing in San Diego for almost 20 years. His clients come to him primarily for pet portraits, florals, or “imaginary creatures from far off worlds”. His goal with the shop is to provide the best care and a trusting environment. His promise stated on the Balancing Act Tattoo’s website is “My promise is to provide you with pieces that will make you smile if you promise to trust me as an artist to combine your ideas with my creativity” – Chad Whitson. Check out his shop’s work on Instagram @balancingacttattoo.
Source: Kyle Walker, Even Keel Tattoo
Even Keel is one of those San Diego tattoo shops that provides a laid-back atmosphere for their clients. Shop owner Kyle Walker (@kylewalkertattoo) not only spends his land time tattooing but is also a diver/shark conservationist. His tattoo style is Japanese-inspired, American traditional, bold, and vibrant colors. Apart from Kyle’s work, you can find lots of tattoo styles in the shop from their four resident tattoo artists. Tattoo styles like black and gray, fine line, geometric, portraits, and even more Japanese or American traditional. Check out the shop’s work on Instagram @evenkeeltattoo.
There you have it, the top 12 best San Diego tattoo shops! You can find an incredible artist for your taste anywhere on the SD west coast. Inspired by any of the artists listed but have an old tattoo that needs to be covered? You can fade that tattoo with Removery and replace it.
Check out San Diego tattoo removal near you and book a tattoo removal consultation with Removery today. Learn more about tattoo cover ups and how laser removal can help you. If you fade your tattoo and get it covered by an artist or shop mentioned, be sure to tag us on Instagram @Removery.
We’re on a mission to give you the most straightforward, easy and efficient laser tattoo removal experience. Your estimate will be entirely bespoke to your tattoo; the size, the colours, the ink. It won’t take long and afterwards you’ll have a plan to finally get rid of your unwanted tattoo and get back to being you.
Get Your Free Estimate
Every tattoo is different, from the size and age to the inks and colours used. It all affects how long full tattoo removal will take.
So just fill in the form and we’ll give you a quick call to chat it through.