Looking to get inked? You’re in luck partner: San Antonio is home to some very talented tattoo artists.
While you’re free to book an appointment at the first shop you find, there’s no guarantee that the artwork will be quality (or that the hygiene standards will be up to snuff—yikes).
After consulting several of my well-inked friends and fellow San Antonio locals, I’ve found the top 10 best tattoo shops in San Antonio.
(Just make sure you check out the artist’s work before making an appointment; tattooing is art, so you need to partner up with someone who shares your vision.)
- Map of the Best Tattoo Shops in San Antonio
- Most Hygienic Tattoo Shop: Buddha Box
- Most Popular Tattoo Shop in San Antonio: Dandyland
- Best Watercolor Tattoos: Adrenaline Tattoo
- Best Guest Tattoo Artists: Boardwalk Tattoos
- Most Diverse Tattoo Shop: Element Tattoo
- Best Tattoo Coverups: Flesh Electric
- Most High-End Tattoo Shop: Ink Couture
- Best Veteran-Owned Tattoo Shop: Ink10City Tattoo
- Best Traditional Tattoos: Electric Panther
- Best Portrait Tattoos: Family Tradition Tattoo
Map of the Best Tattoo Shops in San Antonio
Most Hygienic Tattoo Shop: Buddha Box
Buddha Box is my go-to place for tattoos and piercings. I’ve had three piercings here myself and I even brought my nieces here for theirs! Half of the shop is dedicated to piercing while the other half is all about tattoos.
Don’t let the humble/sketchy exterior fool you: Buddha Box is incredibly sanitary. Actually, it was way more sanitary than the random German tattoo shop I went to for my first tattoo while traveling Europe. #TrueStory.
Anyway, Buddha Box’s team is both friendly and talented. Right now, you can work with either Miles for vibrant colors or Vinny for black and white realism/portraits.
- Address: 5337 Glen Ridge Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229
- Website: Buddha Box
Most Popular Tattoo Shop in San Antonio: Dandyland
When I was in college, it seemed like all of my sorority sisters frequented Dandyland for their tattoos. Any time someone showed up with fresh ink, the first question was, “Oh, did you go to Dandyland?” It’s, by far, one of the most reputable and popular tattoo shops in San Antonio.
The style you’ll get is entirely dependent on the artist you book. Right now Dandyland has five artists available, so get to know their styles before booking an appointment. Generally speaking, they’re good for Traditional tattoos, but some of their artists can even do watercolor and realism.
- Address: 1620 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78201
- Website: Dandyland Tattoo and Piercing
Best Watercolor Tattoos: Adrenaline Tattoo
Adrenaline Tattoo has been a staple in SA for over 20 years. Founder Steve does several styles of tattoos, although he specializes in freehand Japanese and Traditional, while the other founder Sonia offers watercolor, black and grey, and tribal.
P.S. Adrenaline is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so make sure they’re open before you swing by.
- Address: 2140 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78218
- Website: Adrenaline Tattoo
Best Guest Tattoo Artists: Boardwalk Tattoos
I’ve walked past Boardwalk Tattoos more times than I can count because I’m a big fan of the pizzeria next door. But as it turns out, Boardwalk is one of the most highly-rated tattoo parlors in San Antonio. Since they’ve only been around since 2015, that’s quite a feat!
Boardwalk Tattoos will work off of an existing design, something you drew, or they’ll work with you to create something new. In my opinion, they also have one of the biggest selections of artists in San Antonio, with seven or more artists on staff at a given time.
Boardwalk also frequently hosts guests artists from out of town. Check out their website to see which revolving artists will be at the shop. If you want to book an appointment with a guest artist, keep in mind that you’ll have to book with the artist directly, not Boardwalk.
- Address: 7218 Blanco Road, San Antonio, TX 78216
- Website: Boardwalk Tattoos
Most Diverse Tattoo Shop: Element Tattoo
Element Tattoo was voted as the best tattoo shop in San Antonio by the San Antonio Current in 2020. It’s been around since 2006, but today, it’s a surprisingly high-end tattoo shop.
They also have 10+ artists on staff, so you’ll definitely have your pick of the litter if you go with Element. Thanks to their huge roster of artists, Element offers styles like:
… and a lot more.
Just keep in mind that they don’t offer walk-ins, so make sure you call ahead to book an appointment.
- Address: 4741 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78229
- Website: Element Tattoo
Best Tattoo Coverups: Flesh Electric
Since 2009, this small tattoo shop has made a name for itself in the Alamo City. Their artists have a combined 35 years of experience in tattooing, covering a broad swath of styles like:
- Black and grey
- Sailor Jerry
- Color realism
But one of the coolest things about Flesh Electric is their coverups. I had a friend cover up a tattoo here and it looked incredible. She had a black, faded, not-so-great-looking tattoo that Flesh Electric managed to cover up flawlessly.
- Address: 6649 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78216
- Website: Flesh Electric Studio
Most High-End Tattoo Shop: Ink Couture
Ink Couture has a whopping three locations around San Antonio, so no matter which side of the city you’re on, an Ink Couture isn’t too far away. They tout themselves as a luxury tattoo shop, and they aren’t kidding. This place takes an almost spa-like approach to tattoos, and the plush decorating job doesn’t hurt, either.
Ink Couture will do Traditional tattoos, but their fleet of artists also specializes in New School and 3D tattoos, too.
- Address 1: 15717 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78232
- Address 2: 7915 W Loop 1604 North Suite 108, San Antonio, TX 78254
- Address 3: 3020 N St. Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212
- Website: Ink Couture Tattoos
Best Veteran-Owned Tattoo Shop: Ink10City Tattoo
Ink10City mostly specializes in photorealistic tattoos in color, so if you want a gorgeous portrait that ticks all of the boxes, their trio of tattoo artists will hook you up. They’re open every day of the week and veteran-owned and operated, so give these folks some love, hm?
P.S. Did you know that Ink10City is Chuck Norris approved? No, really, it is.
- Address: 7706 Bandera Road, San Antonio, TX 78238
- Website: Ink10city Tattoo
Best Traditional Tattoos: Electric Panther
Don’t let the wonky website scare you away. Electric Panther specializes in pretty much one style, and that’s Traditional. If you’re looking for bold lines, blackwork, and nostalgia, this small team of tattoo artists has the chops to take it on.
Now, should you go here for, say, a watercolor tattoo? Eh, probably not. In any case, there’s a lot of demand for Electric Panther’s classic, bold style. And for good reason!
- Address: 11945 Perrin Beitel Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217
- Website: Electric Panther Tattoo
Best Portrait Tattoos: Family Tradition Tattoo
Whether you’re looking for something in color or just in classic black and gray, Family Tradition Tattoo does, hands down, the best portraits I’ve seen in San Antonio. The artist Ray makes some portraits that are so realistic, it looks like a photo instead of a tattoo.
They offer a 10% discount to military and students, so be sure to ask for a discount if that applies to you. Family Tradition also makes its own aftercare line, Skin Project, to protect your tattoo after you leave the shop.
- Address: 1731 Babcock Road, San Antonio, TX 78229
- Website: Family Ink TX