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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Think before you ink

Popular tattoo studios near campus

<p>The Renaissance Custom Tattoo storefront.</p>

The Renaissance Custom Tattoo storefront.

Getting a tattoo is risky business. 

There’s always the chance of getting stuck with a bad tattoo for the rest of your life, and unfortunately, it happens all too often. Roughly 23% of people with tattoos in the U.S. regret them, according to a poll by the Fresh Start Laser Tattoo Removal Clinic.

Despite the risk, about 40% of U.S. adults have tattoos, according to a 2017 Statista survey.

And many who don’t have tattoos want at least one. Roughly 19% of U.S. adults without tattoos consider getting at least one, according to a 2017 Statista survey.  

 So, if you’re one of the inexperienced but interested 19%, we’ve got you covered. 

We compiled a list of some of the best tattoo parlors in the Buffalo area.

Renaissance Custom Tattoo 

3223 Main St. 

RCT owner.JPG
Gordon Myers | The Spectrum

Owner of Renaissance Custom Tattoo poses for a photo.

Renaissance Custom Tattoo is a 15-minute drive from North Campus, but a quick walk from South Campus, on the corner of Winspear Avenue and Main Street. 

The parlor encourages customers to design their own customized tattoos, with base prices starting at $60 and costs increasing depending on the time a piece takes to complete. 

The parlor accepts walk-ins and credit card payment but does not offer piercings. 

The Parlour 

437 Franklin St.

The Parlour is located in downtown Buffalo and is about a 25-minute drive from North Campus. 

The shop offers tattoos, piercings and jewelry, and the minimum price for a tattoo is $80 but varies based on tattoo size.

The Parlour accepts credit card payments, but customers are required to schedule an appointment before arrival.


177 Elmwood Ave. 

5651 Main St.

Cowpok has two locations –– one on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo and another on Main Street in Williamsville, both serving as tattoo and piercing parlors with employees who specialize in each area.

The base price for tattoos is $80 but prices increase with the tattoo’s size. Ear piercings start at $45 and nose piercings start at $30. 

If you’re planning to get a tattoo, make sure to call ahead because the shop requires appointments.  

Cowpok locations do not accept appointments for piercings. Customers typically experience a 30-45 minute wait, according to Yelp reviews. 

And keep in mind, you can only pay for tattoos in cash. 

Hand of Doom Tattoo

734 Elmwood Ave.

Located in the heart of Elmwood Village, Hand of Doom is about a 30-minute drive from North Campus.

Hand of Doom is on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for. 

The base price is $100 for a tattoo and increases for larger tattoos, but the shop accepts credit cards. 

 Hand of Doom only offers tattoos (no piercings or jewelry) and accepts walk-ins when there is room. 

Arboreal Ink 

1745 Hertel Ave. 

 Located in North Buffalo, the parlor is a 20-minute drive from North Campus. 

Arboreal Ink specializes in custom tattoos and customers are welcome to bring original artwork that the artists will use as a model for the tattoo. 

The parlor accepts walk-ins.

 The base price for a tattoo is $50, and touch-ups are free for the first six months after the initial inking. Prices increase for larger tattoos. The parlor does not accept credit-card payments. 

 Arboreal Ink offers special deals for students and customers celebrating birthdays.


Oak & Iron Salon and Tattoo 

176 Franklin St. 

Oak & Iron Tattoo & Salon is a full-service salon and tattoo studio. It offers a plethora of services including tattoos, manicures, microblading and hair styling. 

The shop hosts guest tattoo artists and monthly special events. This month, the shop offers a Halloween-themed special where customers may prepare for their costumes with hairdos, makeup and even prosthetic accessories.

 The base price for a tattoo is $80 and prices increase depending on the time they take to make. The hourly rate is $125.

 The shop, located downtown, is a 30-minute drive from North Campus.

Chloe Ferney is a staff writer and can be reached at



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