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A tattoo of a piece of cherry pie, with flowers and ants.
A pie tattoo by Happy Fishhead.
Happy Fishhead

Portland Tattoo Artists Who Absolutely Nail Food Designs

Where to find a super stylized flash or a hyper-realistic botanical sleeve

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Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

The stereotypical image of a Portlander covered in food tattoos is not exactly inaccurate: The city is seemingly as littered with tattoo shops as it is restaurants and food carts. While most artists can knock out a serviceable beet with greens or a chef’s knife, some artists in Portland are particularly well known for their food tattoos — hyper-realistic depictions of herbs and produce, surrealist bug-sushi, or smiling heads of celery. Below, we dive into just a few of the artists we love in Portland, and how to nab a custom tattoo or flash booking.


Deadpan Tattoo

This Australian artist based in Portland is inspired by the flora and fauna of their current home, which means their customers have left with realist or illustrative portraits of rock crabs, Pacific octopus, porcini mushrooms, and chanterelles on their bodies. Pan is a strong choice for those seeking a grey wash sleeve or a custom plant tattoo — they tend to prefer specific species to general vibes, so coming in with the scientific name of your desired tattoo gets you bonus points.

Website: deadpantattoo.com

Instagram: @deadpan.tattoo

Books open? Yes, for December and January

Happy Fishhead

The whimsical style of this sought-after tattoo artist is heavily influenced by a love of food; flashes have included shrimp-topped Jell-O molds and persimmons with feet, while custom tattoos have featured pigeons devouring Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and ladybug sundaes. “I quite literally moved to Portland for the food scene,” says Kat, the artist behind Happy Fishhead. “When clients leave me a nice tip, I pretty much immediately take it to Phuket Cafe or Yaowarat in town and treat myself to a nice meal.”

Website: happyfishhead.com

Instagram: @happyfishhead

Books open? Flashes released on Sundays; keep an eye on Instagram for designs

AJ Chugg

This Desert Sun Collective artist has a style that can shift depending on the subject, from sketch-esque pomegranates and tomatoes to girlies lounging in martini glasses and chanterelle-headed beauties. Chugg’s use of color is often really lovely, particularly in these fruit designs.

Website: linktr.ee/chuggalug

Instagram: @chuggalug

Books open? Yes

Shannon Wolf

Currently based at Daydream Tattoo in Northeast Portland, Wolf’s style balances elements of minimalism with touches of the fantastical. The artist’s citrus designs, as well as this strawberry, particularly caught our eye.

Website: www.shannonwolftattoo.com

Instagram: @shannonwolftattoo

Books open? Yes

Haunted Dermis

Paradise Tattoo artist Morgan Christy has a cheerful approach to food design, from smiling teabags to rats snuggling strawberries. Flash designs often incorporate food, whether you’re looking for pasta shapes, kidney beans, or a line of marionberries on your ankle. “[My work] is all influenced by my love for baking and food in general,” Christy says.

Website: haunteddermis.com

Instagram: @haunteddermis

Books open? Yes

Allynn Carpenter, Mr. Horrible

Allynn Carpenter isn’t afraid to get playful with his food tattoos, depicting moldy sandwiches, frogs housing french fries, and fetching hot dogs. Carpenter can capture a wide range of styles in his work, for those seeking something more illustrative or cartoonish.

Website: allynncarpenter.com

Instagram: @mr._horrible_

Books open? Yes

Leigh Estrada

This Cowgirl Tattoo artist’s distinctive style gives evocative faces to various forms of produce, ranging from tomatoes to peas to beets. However, those who don’t want to look their fruit in the eye will find plenty of options, as well.

Website: calendly.com/flwrforms

Instagram: @flwrforms

Books open? Yes

Black Marrow Tattoo

Republica chef Jose “Lalo” Camarena recommends this flash-only tattoo artist, who worked as a cook for 13 years. Past designs have included tomatoes on the vine, tigers drinking red wine, fruit and cheese plates, and more, and the artist also sells prints, pins, and printed rolling papers.

Website: blackmarrowtattoo.com

Instagram: @blackmarrowtattoo

Books open? No; January’s books will be released at noon on December 29.

Uma Azul Chopra, Uma Tattoos

Those looking for clean lines, thoughtful dotwork, and illustrative botanicals and produce will find what they’re looking for with Chopra. Beets, garlic, blackberries, and lemons all appear in her portfolio, often incorporating beautifully tangled greens, vines, and leaves.

Website: umatattoos.com

Instagram: @umatattoos

Books open? No; will reopen in 2024

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