Tattoos are nothing new. Whether you’re going for a sleeve of tats or want just a cryptic little ancient symbol near the nether regions, you need a short map of the experienced places in this city that are reliable and sticklers for cleanliness so your body art can last a lifetime.
Deluxe Tattoo
1459 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 549-1594

Making an indelible mark on the Chicago tattoo scene, Deluxe Tattoo is comforting in its spaciousness, looks and highly professional service. If you have your heart set on a particular design, bring in an image or representation and chances are one of Deluxe’s ink wizards will say, “Sure, I can do that!” Just be sure to ask your artist to have a peek at his or her portfolio to be sure you line up in terms of style. Add that prices are reasonable and why would you shop around?

Family Tattoo
2125 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 281-6392

The family that inks together, links together. Just like your mama said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” but there’s no need for a white glove test at Family Tattoo – it sparkles. Artists can reproduce a design or riff on an idea (on paper first, of course) so you can be sure of wearing something completely unique. Happy clients with striking designs are all the PR this parlor needs.

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Infamous Ink Studio
1606 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-7422

One supposes that in the inky world of tattoo art, having the moniker “infamous” is more fitting than merely “famous” – like the difference between Hunter S. Thompson and a Kardashian. Other welcome characteristics, that the Wicker Park studio possesses in spades, are incredible attention of detail in design, keeping the client comfortable during the deed and offering the aforementioned at a nice price.

Insight Studios
1062 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 342-4444

This Noble Square spot employs creative artists in its squeaky clean studio but also goes beyond by reaching out to the community and getting involved in various fundraisers – good stewards of the craft and humans inhabiting the ‘hood. That the staff is welcoming, kind and determined makes complete sense given its empathic ways. Expect to be treated with respect in terms of professionalism and artistry whether it’s your first ink experience or you’re practically a walking piece of art.

Code of Conduct
14 E. 11th St.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 929-2073

Who wouldn’t want his or her tat place with a virtuous name? The South Loop’s Code of Conduct is a very cool creative collective and tattoo shop that gets inspiration from the historic neighborhood and its burgeoning art scene. Although the shop’s artists surely have traditional technique at their fingertips, they’re known for intuitive interpretation of your ideas ensuring a one-of-a-kind piece of body art. In addition to tattoo, the shop stocks accessories like watches, sunglasses and bags as well as clothing from emerging designers.

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at