Everyone always asks me, “Where should I go to get my first tattoo in St. Louis?!” Well, this guide may point you in the right direction. Already have tattoos and are curious about other shops in the St. Louis area? Well, you should read on, too. I’m no professional critic but have multiple tattoos and piercings, so hopefully you can trust my word. A lot of these reviews are in fact based on personal experience. Also, just to clarify, they are in no specific order. Go out and get inked!
1) All Star Tattoo
Location: 8601 Olive Street (Hwy 170/Olive)
Hours: 12pm-10pm M-Sat / 12-8 Sun
All Star is probably one of the less “flashy” shops, but is definitely one of the cleanest and most friendly. This is where I have personally got most of the ink work I have done. For the cost to quality ratio, you cannot be this shop, hands down. I’ve never been once treated like I didn’t know anything about tattoos and therefore got charged a ridiculous amount. There shop minimum is $40, so if you want something quite small with no color, that is what they’re going to charge you. I’ve been tattooed by Omar and Luke there, and both were top notch. Omar has done the biggest piece on me and I get compliments on it all the time even after 2 years. I’ve also had friends tattooed by the other guys there and every time they come out with a smile on their face. The staff is super friendly and they welcome walk-ins everyday, especially Friday and Saturday. Good amount of flash art is available if you need to look at some, otherwise any artist there can draw up something you have idea of. Bar-none one of the best if not the best tattoo shop in St. Louis.
2) Iron Age Tattoo
Location: 6309 Delmar (University City Loop)
Hours: 12pm-10pm M-Sat / 12-8 Sun
Iron Age definitely holds a reputation of being a tattoo institution in St. Louis for many years. They have been around since the boom of tattooing in the city. I got my first tattoo done here. They overcharged me a little bit when I look back on it, but it was done well by a guy named Trevor. I’ve been there for 2 other tattoos, both small and on my wrists. For one of them, I’ve never been treated so poorly by the artist himself. The lady at the desk was fine, though. The artist came up to me, looked at the small tattoo I was wanting, and said a price. That was it. No introduction, no kindness, nothing. Not to mention he overcharged me almost double of what it should have cost (It was a 10 minute tattoo). I’ve heard of other stories like this from friend, family and also from my girlfriend. She had almost the same exact experience when she got her 1st tattoo there. Basically, if you’re not covered in visible tattoos, you will be treated like you know nothing and you will be overcharged. However, the quality of work that comes out of the shop by a few select artists is fairly good. They also usually have plenty of artists there at any given time so walk-ins are usually possibly any day or any time.
3) Trader Bobs Tattoo
Location: 2529 South Jefferson Ave
Hours: Monday – Thursday 12-9 / Friday – Saturday 12-10 / Sunday 12-8
The oldest shop in st Louis and a sister shop to All Star. Pretty much one of the coolest atmospheres’ to get tattooed in. A super old-school place with staff personalities to go along with it. I’ve been tattooed here twice and both times the artist have been super neat people and funny. One of my tattoos was smaller and they properly charged me the $45 minimum, unlike other shops do. Its a smaller place and a little harder to find than most shops, but once you do, you never forget it. This place is very comparable to All Star in terms of the quality to price ratio. Staff is super nice and helpful, too. You cannot go wrong with a tattoo or piercing from here.
4) House of Ink Tattoo
Location: 6060A Delmar (U-city Loop)
Hours: Monday – Friday 12-10pm / Sunday 12-8
Right down the street from Iron Age Tattoo. This place has an immediate draw-back as it is tiny. We also weren’t really greeted by anyone when a friend and I walked in because the 2 people that were there were tattooing at the time. I have some some good pieces of work come out of the this place but the overall impression I got of the place was that is wasn’t as professional as most of the other shops I have seen. If curb-appeal really matters to you, I’d stay away from this place. Otherwise, you can probably get some pretty quality ink for a fair price from these guys. I’m sure walk-in availability isn’t that great either, though.
5) St Louis Tattoo Company
Location: 119 Long Road (Chesterfield, MO)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 12-9
A shop located in West County, finally! My girlfriend and I went to visit this shop a couple months ago and was really impressed. Curb-appeal is great, even better on the inside. Immaculately clean shop with a great, professional look through-out. They did not skimp on building and decorating this shop at all. Flipped through some of their artist books and took a peak at someone getting tattooed, and it all seemed to be quality. The staff there was the most inviting and knowledgeable I’ve ever encountered. The guy who was helping my girlfriend find a new stud for her lip was explaining every and all differences of sizes, material, etc. This was a great first impression will definitely be going there at some point to get some work done.
6) Goldenlands Tattoo
Location: 8768 Saint Charles Rock Road (Overland)
Hours: Monday – Sunday 12-8
Another older shop in the St. Louis Area. I’ve only passed the shop a couple times and its age shows in the building. I’ve seen a few tattoos come out of the here that were impressive, however, smaller and not nearly as complicated as a bigger piece would be. A friend of mine went here for something this place is more known for and that is animated-related pieces. He got a full sleeve done here and it really turned out to be a mess. The pieces of the tattoo are done okay, but the overall placement and how they are supposed to blend together does not look good. I don’t really know how they messed this up so I won’t say anything farther. If you live closer to this shop and want something small to medium sized for a fair price, go here. Otherwise, travel the longer distance for something more quality.
7) Full Spectrum Tattoo
Location: #6 Beckett Plaza (Valley Park)
Hours: Tues – Sat 2-9pm
This review is on their valley park location, which actually quite differs from their High Ridge location. First impressions were not good. Walked into the shop with a friend of mine and no one was at the front desk. Behind the desk was a giant wall which blocked the view of the artists chairs/area. We could only hear 1 tattoo gun going so we decided to wait around. After 15 minutes of waiting, no one came to greet us or even come up to the counter. Most of the work I’ve seen come out of there has not been done that well, either. The one tattoo my girlfriend isn’t 100% happy about came from an artist at this shop. This is definitely a case of you get what you pay for. Their work costs cheap from what I hear. I would probably never go here unless I knew the artist personally or was getting something really simple done for dirt cheap. This shop claims to be the only tattoo shop in west county.. well, guess again. Travel elsewhere.
8) Cheap TRX
Location: 3211 S Grand
Hours: Mon-sat 10am-8pm / Sunday 11-6
This shop is clean and has a cool feel. The guys that I talked to at the counter were really nice. I’ve seen a couple tattoos come out of this shop on some friends and they look good. Black and white pieces, especially. Not saying that they are limited to that, though! I’ve also seen many well done piercings come out of this shop for a very fair prices, as well. This shop is also one of the fewer that will do just about any piercing you can think of. So anything crazy you might have in mind for a piercing, come here. You’ll get treated right, pay a fair price, and get the piercing just how you want it to look!
9) T-Doggs Tattoo
Location: 12116 Bellefontaine Rd
Hours: Mon-sat 12-9pm / Sunday 11-8
Phone: (314) 355-0200
I’ve never stepped into this shop but have a friend that does all the time. Some of the best black and white work I have ever seen done. I know all the prices have been real fair, especially for my friend. Hes a returning customer so they very much do appreciate loyalty. This shop can be out of the way for a lot of people but if you’re looking for a astonishing black and white piece done for a very fair price, this is the place to go! I’ve never really heard anything bad about this shop, either!
10) All American Tattoo Inc
Location: 12763 New Halls Ferry Road (Florrisant)
Hours: Mon-Sunday 12-9pm
Phone: (314) 838-5596
I’ve heard a lot about this shop by have never been to it. Most of the work I’ve seen on friends or people I’ve just randomly met have been solid. I’ve seen a good mix of color and black/white work and the color stuff was really good. Also heard that the staff was fairly friendly and the prices weren’t the best but it was worth it for the quality of work!