Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top tattoo spots around Raleigh, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture for everything from black-and-white portraits to Japanese-style tattoos.
1. Blue Flame Tattoo
Photo: Anne-MARIE G./Yelp
Topping the list is Blue Flame Tattoo. Located at 710 W. Peace St. in Five Points, it is the highest rated tattoo spot in Raleigh, boasting 4.5 stars out of 87 reviews on Yelp.
Open daily, Blue Flame Tattoo has offered custom tattooing and body piercing for more than two decades. It has six tattoo artists on staff.
Yelper Anne-Marie G.wrote, "As an outsider, this place was immaculate. The staff was super friendly. We were quick in and out. Prices were fair and I didn't feel pressured to make a decision."
2. Mad Ethel's Tattoo
Photo: LIZ H./Yelp
Next up is Mad Ethel's Tattoo, situated at 424 S. Dawson St. in central Raleigh. With 4.5 stars out of 62 reviews on Yelp, the tattoo spot has proven to be a local favorite.
Established in 2012, the shop features artists who specialize in everything from traditional to black and gray realism to Japanese tattoos. It also offers piercing services.
Yelper Kimber noted, "I've gotten tattooed by both Steve and Ember. I truly can't say enough good things about them. They are kind people who very clearly care about their work and their clients."
3. Oak City Tattoo
Photo: oak city tattoo/Yelp
Wade's Oak City Tattoo, located at 3114 Hillsborough St., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the tattoo parlor 4.5 stars out of 33 reviews.
This spot specializes in custom tattoos. Walk-ins are welcome and you can schedule an appointment in advance as well. Oak City Tattoo does not offer piercing services or sell body jewelry.
On Yelp, Roo C. wrote, "I stopped in there as a walk-in and got a tattoo done by Neil. I've got about 25 tattoos, and I've had them done all over the country. This was the best tattoo experience I've ever had."
4. Authentic Tattoo Company
Photo: terri r./Yelp
Authentic Tattoo Company is another much-loved go-to, with five stars out of 12 Yelp reviews. Head over to 416 W. South St., Suite 101, to see for yourself.
Open since 2016, Authentic Tattoo Company offers a range of tattoo styles: traditional American, Japanese, black and grey and more. Walk-ins are welcome.
Yelper Jami C. noted, "I can't say enough good things about this shop. I came here to get my second tattoo done as the reviews on Yelp were stellar. Edgar was so kind, patient and precise in his work."
5. Phoenix Tattoo
Photo: phoenix tattoo/Yelp
Then there's Phoenix Tattoo, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 25 reviews on Yelp. You can find the tattoo spot at 1215 Hillsborough St.
In business for more than a decade, the shop has five artists on staff who provide custom tattoos. Walk-ins are accepted whenever business allows. Deposits are required for all appointments.
Yelper Stef A. wrote, "I can't say enough good things about Brian or my experience there. He is super talented, he listens and suggests his own ideas. I left with a beautiful design that I just can't stop looking at!"