A tattoo is a serious investment.
Indeed, few purchases are more, well, permanent than body ink. Whether it's your first tattoo or you're a seasoned pro, getting a tat is not something you entrust to just anyone. These are some of Austin's finest parlors, where you can rest easy in the hands of talented artists and relaxing environments.
Of course, you should narrow your search based on the style of work you're looking for. No matter where you end up, always look for clean facilities - and remember to tip your artist! Trust us, your mom will be even more pissed if you don't.
6501 South Congress Ave Suite 3302
There was a time in America (the 20th century, to be specific) when it wasn't at all unusual for barber and tattoo shops to share a space, as Tried & True does. That's about where the similarities end, though. It can be reasonably ascertained that the combination tattoo and barbershops of yore were never as carefully devised or welcoming as Tried & True is. With its six barber and two tattoo stations at the ready, free beer, Pop art-adorned walls, and gregarious staff, Tried & True is actually exactly the kind of place you would want to go to experiment with a new look. Seriously, if ever there's a time when you should feel confident and excited about a change, it's while getting a new haircut (and) or tattoo.
Photo credit: Golden Age Tattoo Facebook
2008 Fortview Rd
The ambiance in Golden Age is spot-on, sure to calm any needle-related nerves. This shop employs a host of resident artists, specializing in styles from colorful traditional symbols to delicate geometric mandalas. It's a one-stop where you can have many different requests fulfilled.
photo credit: Instagram user @crewsyfixer
Chris Trevino, who earned his honorary Japanese name Horimana after studying under ink legend Horiyoshi III, has set up shop in Austin at Perfection Tattoo. The beautiful stylized tiger emblazoned on the outside of the building is a mere taste of the talent that resides within. Trevino's shop offers intricate, vibrant tattoos in the traditional Japanese style.
1309 E 4th St
Resurrection Tattoo is a local favorite; people return here for the gorgeous artistry and the great relationships they build with artists. The shop manages to be both clean and bursting with character. Each of the artists at Resurrection has a colorful and unique take on traditional and not-so-traditional styles.
photo credit: Instagram User @gullycattattoo
2006 S 1st St
Gully Cat's founder Mike Terrell is a through-and-through Austinite. He specializes in the traditional Americana style and also builds his own tattoo machines. The shop runs out of a house that would be unassuming if it weren't painted electric green - inside, the atmosphere is eclectic, friendly and welcoming, even to first-timers.
photo credit: Yelp user @Steve B.
1313 S Congress Ave
People straight up rave about how good Southside Tattoo is; for many folks in Austin, they're the #1 choice. With a fantastically talented (not to mention good-natured) team, it would really be hard to go wrong here. It also has the added bonus of being located right next to Continental Club, so you can treat your new brand new ink to some great music right when you're done.
photo credit: Lauren Logan PHotography
1736 W Anderson Ln
Moon Tattoo is a clean, bright parlor owned by Tina Poe, a talented artist with a distinct blackwork style that often centers on the odd or otherworldly. The other artists at Moon Tattoo are incredibly talented as well, especially if you're looking for exquisitely detailed line work, artfully shaded flora and fauna, or woodcut-style nature pieces.
photo credit: Truebluetattoo.com
607 Red River St
True Blue is a shop where you can walk in with only a vague idea of the ink you want, and leave with your vision perfectly etched on your skin. The Red River location is open until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays - but a late-night tequila-fueled tat here won't feel like a mistake in the morning (Or if it does, at least it won't be due to the quality of work).
photo credit: @alli_baker_tattoo
Alli Baker's work has been featured in Tattoo Magazine, Freshly Inked Magazine, and multiple arts conventions across the country. She has experience in many styles, but her bright, flowing watercolor work is especially impressive. Alli's schedule books up well in advance, but a tattoo from her is definitely worth the wait.
photo credit: Instagram User @shamanmods
1601 E Cesar Chavez St #106
If you're looking for a parlor where you don't need to book an appointment months out, Shaman Modifications takes walk-in clients and can get you inked before you lose your nerve. The artists have more than 25 years of combined experience in tattoo art - and if you're in the mood for a different kind of body mod, they offer extensive and well-rated piercing services as well.
2310 S Lamar Blvd
The artists at Rock of Ages produce work in many different styles and sizes, from traditional full-back pieces to smaller, whimsical tattoos. They all have one thing in common, though - they're kind, talented artists who know what they're doing. Many of the artists at Rock of Ages are rocks of the art form themselves, with over 20 years of experience.
MORE GREAT TATTOO SHOPS IN AUSTIN:
4634 Burnet Rd
1703 S Lamar Blvd
4930 S Congress Ave
514 E 6th St
11657 Research Blvd #105
1806 W Anderson Ln
Do you have a favorite local tattoo parlor?
Let us know!