One Direction Kentucky Fried Tattoo Session ... In Maryland

6/27/2013 12:40 AM PDT

In their never-ending pursuit of manliness, the guys from One Direction spent Tuesday night on the prowl for tattoos and fried chicken ... and lucky for them, they hit the bloody jackpot in Maryland.

TMZ has learned ... the guys were passing through Glen Burnie, MD this week when they had a sudden urge for some new body art -- so they sent their bodyguard to scope out some of the local needle joints.

We're told the bodyguard liked what he saw when he walked into Tattooed Heart Studios ... and 20 minutes later, in came Liam, Zayn and Louis.

Zayn and Louis each came prepared with some designs in mind -- Zayn wanted an image his of GF's face ... and Louis wanted doodles on his forearm of a spiderweb ('cause he likes Spider-Man) and a bomb ('cause he's da bomb?).

During the session, we're told the guys had a craving for some fried chicken -- so they sent their bodyguard to a nearby KFC, where he picked up a bucket of finger lickin' deliciousness.

In the end, we're told Zayn and Louis dropped a pretty fat tip for the tat artist. As for Liam, we're told he didn't have any work done and instead opted for a romantic stroll around town .... alone.