Philadelphia has no shortage of talent when it comes to tattoo shops. The city owns a storied past filled with influences, cultures, and personalities that have produced some of the most notable tattooing in the United States, specifically with regard to traditional tattooing. Tattooing has long been an essential part of Philadelphia’s culture, the recent eruption in the popularity of tattooing has only helped to boost the reach of it’s popular studios.
It was difficult to find a succinct list of the best tattoo shops in Philadelphia (other than this user generated group from PhillyHotList) so we decided to create our own.
Like our other lists, we do understand that the word “best” is quite subjective. And that our inclusions and exclusions may be somewhat polarizing. Our goal with these articles is to reflect a grouping of 10 artists in a given area that we are quite fond of – rather than that of all out gospel. We encourage you to send us submissions for any tattoo shops we may have missed, we would be happy to grow this list.
While we do consider this list a grouping of our “best tattoo shops in Philadelphia” we also want to acknowledge a huge grouping of talented tattoo shops before we begin: Everlasting Art, Hard Ink Tattoo, No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo, Hocus Pocus Tattoo, Mean Street Tattoos & Piercings, Integrity Tattoo, Seven Stars Tattoo, 12 oz. Studios, and many more.
Here is a look at our choice for best tattoo shops in Philadelphia:
Overview: Art Machine Productions was established in 2010 by artist Tim Pangburn. The shop was started in a small studio in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighbourhood, shortly after in 2011, the studio moved to it’s current location – a 2700+ square foot converted warehouse. Located in a gorgeous building constructed in 1865, Art Machine Productions resides in the Frankford Ave. Arts Corridor.
Overview: Frequency Tattoo Co. is a custom studio run by Jon Howie and David McCall. The studio offers no templates or predesigned flash – instead, artists work with each client to achieve a desired aesthetic. They opened doors in March of 2014 and have since been committed to the “highest of possible standards in tattooing excellence”.
Overview: Establised in 2006 Deep Six Tattoo is home to some of Philadelphia’s most renowned award winning tattooists. Deep Six is known as one of the premier custom tattoo shops in Northeast Philadelphia, specifically for realism as they play host to the talented Paul Acker.
Overview: Established in 1999 by Jason Goldberg, Olde City Tattoo is one of the more renowned traditional shops in Philly. You can find a wide range of talented artists who would be pleased to work with you on a walk-in or appointment basis. Olde City Tattoo often plays host to some of the country’s most well known traditional tattoo artists.
Overview: Black Vulture Gallery hosts a wide range of versatile artists – rest assured the shop can help you achieve your desired vision within a large range of tattoo styles. The shop opened it’s doors in 2010.
Overview: Philadelphia Eddie’s is a staple of tattooing in the City of Brotherly Love. Focusing primarily on traditional tattooing – and preserving the art – Eddie’s is the household name for old school tattoos. The shop operates two locations including the China Town parlor, see Philadelphia Eddies 621 located on 621 S 4th St.
Overview: Northern Liberty Tattoo prides themselves on clean, solid, and bold tattooing. The shop has begun to build quite a reputation in the city and is gradually picking up steam as one of the go-to Philadelphia studios. Don’t believe us? Check out all of these happy customers on Yelp.
Overview: Grace Tattoo opened it’s doors in May of 2010 and has since been striving to provide their customers with the most friendly, comfortable, and most sterile atmosphere possible. The studio takes safety seriously; all Grace Tattoo artists are certified by the Red Cross in Bloodborne Pathogens and Infection Control to provide the safest possible conditions.
In addition to tattooing, Grace showcases a gallery of work from some of Philadelphia’s best local artists.
Overview: Cosmic Primate is a two-man operation run by Ray Petty and Ryan Lebiedzinski. The two are dedicated to providing a premium custom tattoo experience to surpass your expectations. Located at 136 S. York Rd in Hatboro, don’t be afraid to stop in as walk-ins are always welcome.
Overview: Since June of 2005 Bonedaddy’s tattoo has been producing beautiful tattoos. They’re an award winning, nationally published group capable of handling a wide range of diverse styles. Walk-ins are always welcome at Bonedaddy’s however due to a high volume of clients it’s best to make an appointment with your artist of choice.
We encourage you to send us submissions for any tattoo shops we may have missed, we would be happy to grow this list.