New York

The Best Tattoo Shops in New York City

Courtesy of 10 Thousand Foxes
Courtesy of 10 Thousand Foxes
Courtesy of 10 Thousand Foxes

Believe it or not, tattooing as we know it has only been legal in NYC for 21 years. Banned in 1961 after a hepatitis B outbreak (although more amusing theories are rumored), City Council finally voted to legalize and regulate the practice in 1997. “We were afraid,” a Canal Street shop owner said after the victory. “Now, a lot of people are listed in the yellow pages.”

Today, years removed from telephone book tyranny, there are about 300 licensed tattoo shops in New York City. You could try them all, but odds are you have a fam to -ily, and a j to -ob, and a society to assimilate to despite your base self-destructive desires. Plus, tattoos are expensive. Keep your skin in the game with this list of the nine best tattoo shops in New York City.

Allied Tattoo

Bushwick
Aptly located amid Bushwick’s murals and artist studios, Allied is one of NYC’s best American traditional studios. Most of the lighthearted artists here specialize in bold, bright, classic pieces; others work in grayscale, too. The gleaming shop’s brick walls are adorned with a fine curation of original and collected flash art.
Walk-ins welcome. Cash only. $100 minimum, $100 deposit for appointments, $200 an hour for larger pieces.
 

Courtesy of East River Tattoo
Courtesy of East River Tattoo
Courtesy of East River Tattoo

East River Tattoo

Greenpoint
Twenty-five-year industry veteran Duke Riley — who has work in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum — founded this waterfront parlor in 2000. Artists here trade in 19th-century traditional tattooing and maritime folk art. Expect opaque black inks evocative of woodcuts, engravings, and scrimshaw. In keeping with that fashion, the space here feels like the inside of a cabin on a ship, festooned with distressed wood and nautical charm.
Appointment only on weekdays. Walk-ins welcome for flash art on weekends. $150 minimum, hourly rates start at $300.

Fineline Tattoo

Lower East Side
Sculpture artist Mike Bakaty picked up tattooing after he tired of SoHo’s ‘70s art square scene — literally. While waiting for his own ink appointment, Bakaty began leafing through a tattoo supply catalog and decided to take matters into his own hands. In 1976, Bakaty set up shop in his LES loft, where he operated for more than 20 years before he was issued the city’s first tattoo license under new legislation in 1997. Now, Bakaty’s son and protege Mehai runs the show, peddling hand-painted classic flash tats and custom work.
Walk-ins welcome. Cash or credit. $100 minimum, $160 an hour.

Last Rites
Last Rites
Last Rites

Last Rites Tattoo Theatre

Hell’s Kitchen
Of course this ode to the macabre would be in Hell’s Kitchen. Here, memento mori abounds across three floors and 5,000 square feet of space. Gothic candelabras illuminate blood-red drapery, cemetery-style decorative gates, and all manner of skeleton detritus. Founder Paul Booth has a four-and-a-half year wait list, but each of the four artists who share the space also specialize in the dark arts.
Appointment only. Cash or credit. $400 deposit for appointments, no religious icons.

Nice Tattoo Parlor
Nice Tattoo Parlor
Nice Tattoo Parlor

Nice Tattoo Parlor

Carroll Gardens
Jes Dwyer bounced between tattoo shops in New York and New Jersey for more than a decade before deciding to open her own judgment-free parlor. “We wanted to create a space that felt a bit different from a traditional parlor, one that felt like a cozy living room where folks who are not necessarily deeply embedded in traditional tattoo culture would feel comfortable,” says co-owner Robert Boyle. “It’s a tattoo parlor where everyone is nice to you.” Nice is best known for its Pinterest-chic micro-tattoos, but they also produce fine line and traditional pieces. Occasional $50 flash parties keep the place accessible.
Call for appointment. Walk-ins welcome Wednesday through Sunday 12pm-6pm. $100 minimum. Cash, credit, and Venmo accepted.

King's Avenue
King’s Avenue
King’s Avenue

Kings Avenue Tattoo

Nolita
After outgrowing his Long Island space, Mike Rubendall opened this one-stop-shop on Bowery in 2011. More than a dozen artists and the occasional celebrity guest (Kat Von D, Chris Núñez) turn out all manner of custom tattoo in spacious, comfortable environs.
Walk-ins welcome. Deposits start at $100, hourly rates at $250.

Courtesy of 10 Thousand Foxes
Courtesy of 10 Thousand Foxes
Courtesy of 10 Thousand Foxes

10 Thousand Foxes

Williamsburg
In a sea of American traditional and Japanese-style ink options, 10 Thousand Foxes is one of NYC’s few neo-traditional focused shops. Co-founder Manu Cruz studied art in Barcelona before he started traveling the world as a tattoo artist. Now at home in Williamsburg, Cruz and his partners put out unique pieces with bold lines, reverent shading and lush colors.
Walk-ins welcome. $100 minimum.

Gristle Tattoo

Williamsburg
The artists here produce beautiful, meticulously detailed black line work, with standout watercolor pieces by Baris Yesilbas. Everyone at Gristle works with vegan ink, and the shop hosts community pet adoption events and fundraisers for animal rescues. The studio doubles as a gallery, with fundraiser art shows benefiting groups like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
Appointments are recommended. $100 minimum.
 

Electric Anvil
Electric Anvil
Electric Anvil

Electric Anvil

Crown Heights
This is a solid shop with a stable of artists putting out exceptional American traditional, Japanese, and realistic tattoos. The real fun here is the “get what you get” machine. For $100, you’ll turn the dial in a gumball-style machine and get a surprise design. You’ll finally have a cool story when someone asks you about your ink.
Walk-ins welcome. $100 minimum, $200 an hour for larger works.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Daniel Fishel is an illustrator and writer living in Queens, New York. He’s probably the second-most tattooed among his friends. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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