Shopping & Style

Best Tattoo Shops In The Twin Cities

January 31, 2011 2:12 PM

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Inking an image permanently onto your body is sort of a big decision. And there is something particularly embarrassing about a bad tattoo; it’s like a persistent faux pas that just grows uglier over time.To help prevent such regret-generating ink stains, I’ve compiled a list of the best tattoo shops in the metro area. The list isn’t meant to be a definitive, end-all piece of community journalism, so feel free to write a shout-out to a store you love.

Update: We’ve created a new compilation of our favorite tattoo shops in Minnesota. Find our picks here.

uptowntattoo Best Tattoo Shops In The Twin Cities

credit: CBS

Uptown Tattoo

614 West 27th St.

I got my first tattoo at Uptown. And before my arm had stopped bleeding, I wanted more. Uptown’s atmosphere is relaxed and cozy (in a tattoo-y sort of way), and the artists are easy to work with and uber-talented.

inklabtattoo Best Tattoo Shops In The Twin Cities

credit: CBS

Ink Lab

919 West Lake St.

Since 1995, David Dettloff, the founder of Ink Lab, has used his background in fine arts to tattoo the Twin Cities. Dedicated to the progression of the artform, Dettloff runs Ink Lab with a group of award-winning artists who give the shop a warm, inviting vibe.

Electric Dragonland

923 Main St.

Run by Shahn Anderson, the past president of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, Electric Dragonland has a history of inking high-quality, custom tattoos to customers at home and abroad. The shop boasts over 300 hundred awards and even the privilege of tattooing Don Shelby.

stsabrinastattoo Best Tattoo Shops In The Twin Cities

credit: CBS

Saint Sabrina’s

2645 Hennepin Ave. S.

Bucking the trend, St. Sabrina’s offers great customer service without the stereotypical tattoo shop attitude. St. Sabrina’s offers a clean, friendly and comfortable environment -just what you want when you’re getting Marty McFly’s face permanently stained on your skin. Tattoos are fun. And getting them should be too.

1018 holymackerel Best Tattoo Shops In The Twin Cities

credit: CBS

Holy Mackerel

196 Forbes Ave.
St. Paul

This award-winning custom tattoo and piercing shop is all about harvesting creativity. The artists at the shop not only want to show off their creativity, they want to bring it out in their customers as well. In other words, Holy Mackerel works hard to get you a unique tattoo.

steadytattoo Best Tattoo Shops In The Twin Cities

credit: CBS

Steady Tattoo

714 Washington Ave. S.E.

Since its inception in 2000, Steady has grown steadily – no, make that rapidly. Steady now has a team of five artists who do craft custom and ready-made designs.

-Jonathon Sharp is an intern with

View Comments
  • Joke

    This list is a Joke….how bout they left of Acme Tattoo on East Side!!!

    • Brad

      Agreed. Acme is one of the best. They have tons of awards.
      I have two from Acme, including a custom portrait of my wife drawn by Nolan.

  • racer

    I third that on Acme. I recently got a tattoo there after trying a couple of other places. From here on out, Acme is the only place I will go for future tattoos. The people there are second to none.

  • JM

    4ths on Acme! When I was 18 and getting a tattoo much to my mother’s dismay, I was told the only place I was allowed to go to was Acme. A visiting artist did my first tattoos and Don Nolan did the rest. Great place, the only place I will go again.

  • !!!!!

    ACME, ACME, ACME! love my ACME tattoo! can’t wait to go back for another!

  • Shelly Michels

    What about Visual Addiction on West 7th. I have 5 tattoos, and that is the cleanest place I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Cherie

    Actually, ROSE OF NO MANS LAND in Woodbury has by far the best tattoo artists.

    • matt

      Hell yeah, I completely agree. They’re all super talented and have an awesome shop

  • Debbie

    Schmitty’s in white bear lake!!!


    for your info there is a new and upcoming challenger. EVIL WAYS ON SMITH AVE ON THE WEST SIDE. YOU WILL BE HEARING ALOT ABOUT THIS PLACE.

  • Dimzy

    Acme… Acme… Acme…!! Nolan is amazing, his artists are awesome, and they don’t do “scratch” work… They have high standards there – I’ve had my tats for quite a few years.. still look awesome! As one of the originals in the Twin Cities, with all of the legislative input he’s had to improve the industry… Acme should be on this list.

  • Bryan Smith

    Ummm… Fluid Ink on Snelling. Nik is a God! A master of Kanji. Another fail by WCCO.

  • Them

    Pins and needles in Prior Lake is the only place for me ,Joe is the best.

  • NE

    Any opinion on beloved studio? Trying to find a place to get my first tattoo

  • Sophie

    John at Good Clean Fun in Monticello is quite underrated

  • adrian

    im getting a portrait of my daughter!! any ideas to which shop i should go to?

  • Crystal

    Who is the best for a half sleeve of flowers? I want them to look as realistic as possible!

  • marc

    for piercings, see jamie at st. sabrina’s. he’s fantastic.

  • Minneapolis Tattoos

    Definitely leaving some out. Acme is good, though I prefer 555 Studios in south Minneapolis. Amazing attention to detail. Intricate paintings and without the Tattoo-parlor attitude

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