In Texas alone, there are more than 1,200 licensed tattoo facilities — more if you count edge-dwellers who have gone rogue or aren’t licensed. So, in our search for the 20 best shops in the Houston area, we turned to Instagram, which has proven to be one of the fastest and most immediate ways to keep an artist’s portfolio up to date. Here are the 20 best local tattoo establishments for 2016, presented in alphabetical order.
3rd Generation Ink
126 Heights Boulevard
Family legacy is important, and perhaps no better example can be found than with 3rd Generation Ink, owned by “let’s continue the family tradition” Larry Shaw II. His late grandfather, Bob Shaw, was an innovator in the industry and was inducted into the Tattoo Hall of Fame. 3rd Generation’s Instagram page features saturated colors, elegantly shaded 3-D images, “miracle” cover-up tattoos, complex Day of the Dead images and intricate lettering. Shaw says he’s got five artists in the shop and, among them, they can pretty much do a little bit of everything, though he personally specializes in Japanese and traditional.