Being a New Yorker is about more than having the right zip code. There are also a few New York-specific rituals you must complete: You must attend at least one Yankees or Mets game — if not for the crowd antics, then for the overpriced beer. You must partake in a Sabrett hot dog when it’s offered to you by a street vendor. And you must, absolutely must, get pierced at one of the many historic hot spots scattered all over the island (and in some outer boroughs).
And while a last-minute baseball game or a spontaneous hot dog is within reason, we don’t recommend a new piercing being a spur-of-the-moment decision. Getting a
new piercing requires some research: You have to hunt down the best placements, scope out trends, and, most importantly, find a piercer who can can do the service safely. Lucky for you, we made the search a little easier by tracking down the best piercing studios in New York — and exactly who you should make your appointment with. Our picks, ahead.
The Shop: Studs
You won’t have to subject yourself to sitting in grimy tattoo parlors or getting botched mall piercings thanks to Studs. The boutique opened up in late 2019, and it’s where the curated Instagram-friendly ear comes to life in a cool, modern setting. At Studs, you can shop a range of costume and genuine jewelry to dress your existing piercings or get new ones from a pro. Before the needles come out, you’re invited to a quick consult with a Studs piercer, who chats over what you want, what jewelry is best for you, and who can help you curate your “
earscape.” Then, you’re taken into a private, well-lit, super-clean room where you can get pierced in peace.
Unlike many of its neighbors on NYC’s bustling Prince Street, a service at Studs won’t drain your entire bank account: Piercings start at $35 for one and $50 for two. All we want to know now is: Why wasn’t this a thing when
we were teens? Where: 12 Prince Street; book online.
The Shop: New York Adorned
Who To See: Cassi Lopez & Taylor Bell
If you spent any time around the NYU campus in the ’90s, chances are you’ve gotten pierced at New York Adorned — most likely after aimlessly wandering the streets of the East Village one late Friday night. But that was then and this is now.
Now the shop has moved to Elizabeth Street, toggling the line between SoHo and the Lower East Side — and you should probably make an appointment. Why? The shop is famous, and it offers some of the best gold jewelry in the city. There’s even a mini shop, called Love Adorned, within the piercing parlor that’s a go-to spot for vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces. Consider it an added bonus that the shop has an in-house jewelry specialist who will chat with you ahead of your appointment to figure out the best placement for your piercing and how it might work with the curated collection of jewelry you already have. Where: 269 Elizabeth Street; 212-473-0007.
The Shop: Nine Moons Piercing
Who To See: Johnny Pearce & Starr Ellis
If you’ve ever been to
Sacred Tattoo to get inked, then you’ve probably heard of Nine Moons Piercing, which operates out of the same loft off Canal Street. It might not be the most well-known (yet!), but that’s what makes it so cool: It’s never flooded with tourists. And once you have your first appointment with Johnny or Starr, you’ll find yourself instantly addicted to the team’s expertise, especially when it comes to piercing trends, like the conch, forward helix, and daith. Where: 424 Broadway #2; 212-226-4286.
The Shop: The End Is Near
Who To See: Matt Mayfield, & Anthony Zotto
No, you don’t
have to take the trip to Manhattan to get a body piercing in New York. In fact, one of the most reputable hot spots in the city is outside the mainland in Brooklyn, specifically Park Slope. The only thing better than the piercing service at The End Is Near is the jewelry they sell. And, truly, what’s a piercing without the cool decor you plan on putting in it? Bonus: The shop often offers special discounts including free piercings with every jewelry purchase. Where: 429 7th Avenue; 347-335-0846. Photo: The End Is Near.
The Shop: Maria Tash
Who To See: Ben Tauber
The same way celebrities come to New York to get a tattoo at
Bang Bang, they come to Maria Tash to get a curated piercing and buy loads of dainty jewelry. But you don’t have to be one of the Hollywood elite to get amazing custom service. The team makes choosing your latest and greatest piercing easy — even if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. Where: 653 Broadway; 212-253-0921.
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