Of all cities and regions in California, or even the entire west coast, Orange County is by far one of the biggest hot beds for some innovative and high quality tattoo art. Many of the world’s most famous tattooers have emerged from Southern California and credit the OC for the majority of their teachings, influence, and hands on experience. While television plays favorites in the realm of tattooing and cosmetic art, there are a handful of gems that offer more than just good ink— they sell memories. Here are some of the top tattoo shops in Orange County.
Artist: Drake Sheehan, Port City Tattoo
Port City Tattoo
With two locations in both Costa Mesa and Long Beach, Port City Tattoo opened its doors to sunny Southern California in the spring of 2012. The shop earned the title of “Best Tattoo Shop in Orange County” according to OC Weekly and specializes in nautical themed as well as American traditional style ink. Between the two locations, some of the shop’s most renowned artists include Wade HEX from Long Beach, Marc Nava from Costa Mesa, and Drake Sheehan as well as Buzzy Jenkins— both from the Costa Mesa shop.
Artist: Yvonne La, Outer Limits Tattoo
Outer Limits Tattoo
Also located in both Costa Mesa and Long Beach, Outer Limits Tattoo is another Orange County ink establishment that was crowned “Best Tattoo Shop in Orange County” via OC Weekly. The shop originally opened its doors in 1983 under the supervision and ownership of Kari Barba. The shop specializes in classic ink designs with a modern Southern California twist. All artists at Outer Limits Tattoo strive to make their guests feel as comfortable as possible while providing the highest quality work. Some of the favorited shop artists in both locations include Andrew Baysinger, Sara Fabel, Yvonne La, and the cosmetic tattoo artist known as Skipper.
Artist: Brian Ragusin, Mechanical Concept Tattoo
Mechanical Concept Tattoo
Mechanical Concept Tattoo is a shop located in Huntington Beach that caters to its own name. They believe in precision— everything from developing memorable relationships with their clients to perfectly measured safety precautions. Mechanical Concept Tattoo is a shop that thrives because of their modesty, tattooer-to-client relationships, and comfortable and inviting environment. While some of their permanent artists include Brian Ragusin, Billy Sarno and Chas Finley, the shop often welcomes guest artists such as Cory Capelli and Emily Sloman.
Artist: Andrew Castruita, Pachuco Tattoo
Pachuco Tattoo launched in 2011 and received the title of “Best Tattoo Parlor” three years in a row, courtesy of OC Weekly. Originally run in a small 200 square foot space, Pachuco Tattoo has also been continuously highlighted via the Orange County Hotlist as the “Best Place to Get Tattooed.” The shop caters to all types of clients, whether they are working on large elaborate pieces or are seeking a quick yet high quality and one-of-a-kind impulse tattoo. Some of the shop and city’s most popular artists include Herchell Carrasco, Jake Cohn, Andrew Castruita, and Nick Macaulay.