A tattoo is not something you go bargain hunting for. Ink is forever, and so quality takes ultimate precedence. That covers the tattoo design itself, and of course the artist rendering it on your skin.

While the foremost consideration is the design itself — because it’s difficult to change that once it’s set in ink — the tattoo artist is a close second. An experienced tattoo artist with a fine hand can bring a design to life. Researching tattoo parlors is time well spent.

Boston is filled with tattoo shops that run the gamut in terms of quality. Here is a list of our favorite tattoo parlors that will ink your design to perfection.

(Image: Fat Ram's Pumpkin Tattoo on Instagram)

(Image: Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo on Instagram)

(Image: Redemption Tattoo on Instagram)

(Image: Redemption Tattoo on Instagram)

Redemption Tattoo

2094 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 576-0097

Crisp, clear lines, amazing artistry and friendly knowledgeable staff — what isn’t there to love about longtime Boston favorite Redemption Tattoo? This is a great shop if this is your first tattoo or your twentieth. You won’t find any tattoo elitist snobbery but you will find some of the best ink in Boston. You should note that when booking your appointment, you will need to put down a deposit. And that deposit has to be cash. But never fear, there’s a Bank of America ATM right around the corner from the shop that does brisk business with Redemption Tattoo customers.

Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo

374 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-6444

Conventional wisdom is that you get what you pay for. This goes double for tattoos. Good ink comes at a good price. But there is an exception to this rule. The exception is Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo. The shop has an $80 minimum but beyond that, it is exceptional at working within your budget to give you great ink at a sweet price. Some clients complain that the front desk could use some customer service training but the artistry of the shop’s tattooers more than makes up for the initial rough impression.

(Image: Empire Tattoo on Instagram)

(Image: Empire Tattoo on Instagram)

Empire Tattoo

151 Washington St.
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 764-3085

Walking around Somerville, you’re sure to notice some artistic ink on area residents. So it should come as no surprise that one of the best tattoo shops in Boston can be found right here. This is an all-around fantastic tattoo shop where the talent of the artists is matched only be their dedication to superb customer service. They are well known for working with their clients to get them the best design possible.

(Image: Brilliance Tattoo on Instagram)

(Image: Brilliance Tattoo on Instagram)

Brilliance Tattoo

957 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 902-0957

At Brilliance Tattoo, you’ll find a clean, comfortable atmosphere and talented friendly ink artists. What really earns it a spot on the list of Boston’s best tattoo parlors is its flexibility with scheduling. While clients can e-mail the artists they’d like to work with to book appointments, they can also take their chances on Saturday walk ins. Head to Brilliance’s site for more information on their walk-in policy.

(Image: Disappearinginc.com)

(Image: Disappearinginc.com)

Disappearing Inc.

128 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 477-8636 

This is an odd, but definitely necessary addition to any article talking about tattoos in Boston. You might be looking over this list and wonder why you didn’t go to one of these fantastic tried-and-true tattoo shops and instead ended up with a disaster. Luckily for you, Boston is home to Disappearing Inc. If you’ve made a mistake, it’s not one you have to live with forever. And you’re not going to go broke trying to erase a tattoo you can’t stand. Disappearing Inc. is an amazing place to correct a tattoo mistake. It offers a free consult and will spell out exactly how many sessions with its surprisingly low-pain laser you’ll need to start over again with a blank, or pretty darn close to it, canvas.


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