Meta description – If your mind is set on getting a tattoo in Maine, you must be wondering where should you get one? Find out more about the best tattoo shops in Maine that will meet, and exceed, your every tattoo expectation.
Finding the right shop to get your next tattoo is not an issue for those living in California, New York, or Texas. However, those of us who are located in more isolated regions of the US might have a different story to tell.
At first glance, Maine appears to be one of those regions. What might surprise many is the fact that this small New England state has a rich history when it comes to the craft of tattooing. Being one of the major East Coast harbors, Maine received its fair share of sailors throughout the centuries. As we all know, sailors love their tattoos. This is why Jongeleen Tattooing was opened in Portland, ME (not to be mistaken with the one in Oregon) back in 1925.
Together with cities such as Bangor, Windham, Newport, and Rockland, Portland continues to honor its tattooing heritage to this day. What this means for us is that there’s no shortage of great tattoo parlors and artists. Enjoy reading through the list of the best tattoo spots in Maine!
The Best Tattoo Shop in Maine
Even though there are hundreds of tattoo places in Maine, there must be one that can be considered the best, right? If you’re reading this article, you’re probably interested in getting a seat with the best artists in the business. You should look no further than our next item on this extensive guide on getting a tattoo in Main:
- Location – 583 Forest Avenue, Portland, Maine 04101
- Website – https://www.tsunamitattoo.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tsunamitattoomaine/
Opened back in 2003, Tsunami Tattoo is, undoubtedly, the most popular tattoo spot in the entire state of Maine. From traditional tattoos and portraits to the more modern, realistic black and gray tattoos, as well as the colorful Japanese-style tattoos, this parlor does it all and does it well.
Owned and ran by the famous Phuc Tran and his spouse Sue, this tattoo shop proudly carries the title of the best tattoo place in Maine. The owners are joined by artists such as Cyndi Lou, Matt Dunn, Sean Shea, and Jennifer Simpson, all of whom ensure that the shop’s reputation remains untarnished.
There’s one thing that customers commonly find to be Tsunami Tattoo’s weak point; their phone commonly goes unanswered due to the amount of traffic they get. But let’s focus on what makes this place great:
A comfortable atmosphere, as well as capable and friendly artists whose commitment to their craft is not matched by many, are just some of the things that Tsunami Tattoo’s regulars find appealing. Visit the spot and see for yourself why this is the best tattoo spot in Portland and beyond.
7 More Best Tattoo Shops in Maine
Let’s face it; getting a tattoo in Tsunami Tattoo might be a difficult task. The limited space, as well as the tattooing time that an artist can squeeze into a day’s work, are just some of the reasons why it can be almost impossible to book an appointment with one of the artists at the best tattoo place in Maine.
Whether you can’t get in or you just prefer other styles of work, there are other great tattoo spots in this great state. For those of you who aren’t sold on our top pick, we’ve compiled a list of 7 other spots that can fulfill your every tattoo-related need.
1. Venom Ink Tattoo
- Location –751 Main St, Sanford, Maine 04073
- Website – https://venomink.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/venominktattoo/
One of New England’s finest tattoo and piercing studios, Venom Ink was opened all the way back in 1996. This tattoo parlor does all types of work, but their specialty are color and black and gray realism. This includes portraits, animals, pop culture, and anything in between.
Chad Chase runs the place with his wife Kelly, while tattoo artists such as Teresa Andrews, Josh Anderson, and Shelby Stevens share the chairs around the studio.
There’s one thing about this place that customers tend to react negatively to and it’s the long waiting lists. While Venom Ink Tattoo takes walk-ins for piercings, tattoo-related work needs to be scheduled 6-10 weeks in advance.
The good thing is that the long waiting time pays, as all of the artists’ work receives nothing but praises. In addition to being helpful, friendly, and patient with tattoo virgins, the team offers an insane level of quality at a reasonable rate (the rate depends on the artist). Book an appointment with one of the Venom artists and you won’t regret it.
2. Dark Harbor Tattoo Society
- Location – 39 Exchange St, Portland, Maine 04101
- Website – https://darkharbortattoo.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/darkharbortattoo/
Situated right in the center of Old Port, one of Portland’s most affluential neighborhoods, Dark Harbor Tattoo Society has been in business since 2018. Being one of the largest shops in the state of Maine, this tattoo place offers a wide array of tattooing styles; anything from basic symbols to hyper-realistic designs that seem to jump off the skin.
This tattoo shop is led by Steve Marzza, and he is sharing the shop with artists such as Tori Gilliam, Shayna Blumert, Mike Gorman, Jared Parker, Chris Braley, and more.
Just like with other popular tattoo parlors, Dark Harbor Tattoo Society commonly receives complaints about phone calls going unanswered. This might be the only negative side of this place.
When it comes to the positives, the major upside is the number of artists that are working at any given time. This means that the shop commonly takes walk-ins, even for tattooing. Keep in mind that the artists don’t share the same pricing, so consult with them before stepping into the chair.
3. North Coast Tattoo Company
- Location – 152 US-1 Suite #15, Scarborough, Maine 04074
- Website – https://www.northcoasttattooco.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/northcoasttattooco/
Officially around since 2019, the artists behind the North Coast Tattoo Company have been in the business since the early 2000s. What makes this tattoo shop special is the fact that it has a rarely seen 5.0 score on Google, with more than 200 reviews. An astonishing accomplishment, we must admit.
Cindi Bonet is the captain of this ship, while artists such as Frank Ervin, Lix Rivera, Alby Davila, and Lydia Marquis help her guide it through the competitive sea that the Main tattooing scene is. The general style of the shop can be described as geometric, floral, and outdoorsy. They do other types of work as well, but these are their specialties.
We can’t find anything that can be considered a downside for the North Coast Tattoo Company, except for the fact that they only work by appointment.
The positives are numerous; the friendly and adorable staff with endless talent and inspiration, as well as a clean and inviting environment are just some of the reasons why anyone who is thinking about getting a tattoo in Main should visit Scarborough and the North Coast Tattoo Company.
4. Mad Hatter’s Tattoo Studio
- Location – 50 Old Orchard St, Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064
- Website – None
- Instagram – None
If you’re after an old-school tattoo joint, then look no further than Mad Hatter’s Tattoo Studio in Old Orchard Beach, right next to Biddeford.
Mad Hatter’s Tattoo Studio specializes in traditional tattoos, avoiding the modern black and gray realism that, seemingly, everyone is after these days. For those who appreciate this style, there are a few things to note about this tattoo shop:
First and foremost, there are no artists’ portfolios available online. This means no website, no Instagram account, and no online bookings. While some might consider this approach counterproductive and old-fashioned, others will find it appealing. That’s who the Mad Hatter’s after.
The fact that they don’t operate online could be considered both a negative and a positive; we think that it’s great that the shop has decided to keep things the way they once were. They take walk-ins and you can only pay in cash, that’s how old-school they keep the things. People respond positively to this business method: Almost 500 positive experiences on Google Reviews aren’t a coincidence.
If you’re after a classical tattoo, pay them a visit when you’re around the neighborhood.
5. Sanctuary Tattoo & Gallery
- Location – 1041 Brighton Ave, Portland, Maine 04102
- Website – https://sanctuarytattoo.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sanctuarytattoo207/
Drawing on bodies since 1999, Sanctuary Tattoo is another shop that is a fierce contender for the title of the best tattoo parlor in Maine.
Ryan Fleming and Aaron Burns run the place in tandem. Their style can be described as eclectic; the shop does all sorts of work, but the colorful, Japanese-inspired themes seem to be their strong suit.
Considering that there are only two artists inking, booking an appointment in advance is a must. This can’t even be considered a negative, as it has become an industry standard, as evident from this article.
The list of positives, on the other hand, is basically endless. The artists are accommodating every client’s need, they dedicate an outstanding amount of time to each visitor, and their shop somehow feels like home as soon as you walk in. For those who are after vibrant, lively, or colorful tattoos, there might not be a better tattoo shop in Maine than Sanctuary Tattoo.
6. Diversified Ink
- Location – 51 Washington St, Bangor, Maine 04401
- Website – https://diversifiedink.net/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/diversifiedink/
If you’re looking to get a portrait tattoo, or one depicting horror scenes, Diversified Ink in Bangor should be near the top of your considerations list. They also do all other types of tattoos, from basic texts to more complex mural-like designs.
The shop operates under studio manager Jason Drake. Harley Gray, Madison Danforth, Olivia LaPlante, Leah Christine, and Elizabeth Exley are also inking in Diversified Ink. The studio is also home to Abby Rosiak, one of New England’s most sought-after tattoo artists.
As expected with such a talented group of artists, the waiting periods can get long. Another potential negative side is that all of Diversified Ink’s work is custom, so there are no idea books for new customers to look at. They can, of course, see the artists’ previous work from their portfolios.
Top-quality work, a friendly demeanor, and a clean shop are just some of the reasons why you should sit for an appointment at the Diversified Ink HQ in Bangor.
7. Forecastle Tattoo
- Location – 60 May St, Bangor, Maine 04401
- Website – https://www.forecastleink.com/
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jay_forecastletattoo/?hl=en
Standing proud less than a mile away from the previously listed tattoo shop, Forecastle Tattoo has been one of Bangor tattoo scene staples since 2013.
The main guy in the shop is Sam Wood, while Jay Cochran shares the space with him. Intricate designs and a modern style that borders realism is their specialty. They also do traditional tattoos, seemingly with great success.
After looking at the artists’ portfolios, chatting briefly with them over Instagram, and seeing their 5.0 Google Reviews score, there’s nothing we can showcase as Forecastle Tattoo’s negative point.
All of the items listed above are the reason why you should consider booking an appointment if you’re in the area.
How We Picked the Best Tattoo Shops in Maine
In case you’re wondering how did we come up with this list of best tattoo parlors in the state of Maine, here are the factors we considered when creating the list:
- Awards and Recognitions – both the individual artist’s and shops’ awards were a major factor in determining what is the best tattoo shop in Maine.
- Online Reviews – looking at the number of reviews on Google, Glass Door, and TripAdvisor, as well as the general score, we determined which tattoo parlors are the best in Maine.
- Contacting or looking up the Artists – some of the artists named in the text have had a brief conversation with the author of this text over social platforms. Some elements of those conversations (responsiveness, friendliness, and general demeanor) were taken as a criterium for determining the winner of the showdown.