In San Francisco businesses like tattoo shops are a dime a dozen. The bay is a place of art and culture, which may make it seem like an abyss of world class talent and experience. San Francisco has gone through many eras of artistic influence and social progress. From the Castro, to Lombard Street, to the Embarcadero— San Francisco is a compact and vertically complex city with dozens of hidden treasures when it comes to shops, salons, and parlors. Here are just a few of the city’s standout tattoo shops, both up and coming and legendary.
Mission Ink Tattoo & Piercing
Mission Ink Tattoo & Piercing is very appropriately located in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. Like many Bay Area shops, Mission Ink & Tattoo offers a variety of styles that are both traditional and unconventional. The shop hosts artists such as Bruno Corvalan, whereas most of the other artists in the shop simply go by first names like Amanda and Guilherme. Many of the shop’s favorited designs are clean, contain eye-popping color, and feature modern variations of classic techniques. Overall, Mission Ink & Tattoo maintains a playful atmosphere with that signature quirky San Francisco vibe.
Mom’s Body Shop
Not your average kitchen! Mom’s Body Shop is one of San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood tattoo establishments and is located in the Haight Ashbury District. The shop opened in 1998 and is now considered to be world famous. Guest artists frequently rotate through the shop’s roster, including Nico Cain and Sonny Jay. Permanent artists range from Jacek Minkowski, to Paul Block, to Chris Leon— each demonstrating their classically trained skills with a tinge of artsy Bay Area culture.
Located on Haight Street, Braindrops offers the unconventional and whimsical art of Bryan Blanco. Featuring a clean and modern storefront aesthetic, Braindrops is a body art studio of the future. Blanco’s style marries American traditional tattooing with Vincent Van Gogh paintings and often displays highly texturized text pieces. Blanco maintains a favorable balance between old school and new age tattooing while offering flexibility and versatility. Braindrops is well known for being a piercing shop, but it is quickly building its name in the ink world.