The Best Heirloom Tomatoes: A Guide to the Tastiest Varieties

Best Heirloom Varieties
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Last Updated on 1 month by Michelle

There are so many different types of heirloom tomatoes available on the market today it can be hard to know which ones are the best. In this blog post, we will look at the 25 varieties I grew last year.

You’ll learn about some of the tastiest heirloom tomato varieties out there so you can add them to your garden!

This post is all about the best heirloom tomato varieties.

What Are the Best Cherry Tomatoes?

Cherry Tomatoes

My family absolutely loves cherry tomatoes.

They are portable, have a delicious flavor, and grow insanely large yields.

I grew 6 different kinds of cherry tomatoes from seed last year:

  • Sungold Cherry
  • Heirloom Cherry
  • Supersweet 100 (Hybrid)
  • Blue Cream Berries
  • Napa Chardonnay Blush
  • Barry’s Crazy Cherry
  • Brad’s Atomic Grape

Sungold Cherry

Sungold cherry tomatoes are just heaven on earth in my opinion. And to be fair A LOT of people agree with me. 

We grow about 30 Sungold plants every year in our 1/2 acre Certified Naturally Grown market garden, and they taste like sweet sunshine. Our customers love them as well. They have a tangerine color and are sweet with an almost citrus-y tang. I *highly* recommend them in your garden. 

Sungold Cherry Tomato
Customer Favorite
Botanical Interests- Sungold Cherry Botanical Interests- Sungold Cherry
  • These tangerine cherry tomatoes are very sweet and slightly tart, and my customers LOVE them.
  • They are indeterminant and produce for MONTHS on end.
  • You won't be sorry you tried them!
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Heirloom Cherry

The Heirloom Cherry plant I grew last year started in Michigan.

I seeded it right after lockdowns started, and I brought it with me for the 700+ journey to my home state.

I transplanted it into a 25 gallon Smart Pots container and it grew in that container during its entire lifespan- from April until frost killed it off in November.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Containers

The fruits from an heirloom cherry are larger than most other cherry tomatoes, perfectly round, red, and juicy.

They have a bright tomato flavor has a touch of tartness to balance the sweetness.

I was able to save seeds from that tomato plant, and I still have some of them.

This heirloom cherry plant is a solid choice if you are looking for a reliable tomato flavor with high yields and seeds that you can save to grow in the future.

Save These Seeds for Next Year
120 Heirloom Red Cherry Tomato Seeds 120 Heirloom Red Cherry Tomato Seeds
  • Large, red cherry tomatoes have a delicious classic tomato flavor.
  • I like to cut these up into salads, and they are almost big enough to eat sliced onto a sandwich.
  • Save these seeds year after year.
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Supersweet 100

The Supersweet 100 is a rockstar and you’ve probably already heard of it. Supersweet 100s always do well in our 8A climate.

They are vigorous, resist disease, and taste amazing. For many gardeners who only have a small space to grow in, a Supersweet 100 or 2 will produce all the cherry tomatoes they can eat.

Hoss Tools- Supersweet 100 Tomatoes Hoss Tools- Supersweet 100 Tomatoes
  • The Supersweet 100 is a rockstar and you've probably already heard of it.
  • Supersweet 100s always do well in our 8A climate.
  • They are vigorous, resist disease, and taste amazing.
  • For many gardeners who only have a small space to grow in, a Supersweet 100 or 2 will produce all the cherry tomatoes they can eat.
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Best Tomato Varieties

If you are growing tomatoes and only have room for a few tomato plants, I would include the Supersweet 100 for its flavor and its disease resistance.

Remember, Supersweet 100s are hybrids, so saved seeds will result in plants that are NOT like the parent plant 50% of the time.

If you want to save seeds, I recommend growing heirloom plants.

Blue Cream Berries

Blue Cream Berries is an heirloom cherry from Wild Boar Farms.

They are a beautiful, small cherry tomato with dark blue/green shoulders and light cream-colored flesh.

They are one of the earlier maturing tomatoes, about 65 days, and they produce well in cooler weather.

The flavor is excellent; sweet and rich with just a touch of acidity.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Blue Cream Berries

The major problem (and it was pretty major) that I faced with Blue Cream Berries was their thin skin and cracking.

They are extremely juicy which is a great thing, BUT their skin is very thin and prone to cracking.

In fact, they are so prone to cracking that when I picked the tomatoes and put them in a container, any other tomato that touched them would split the skin.

I’m guessing this was due to the pressure from the other tomatoes.

It was very frustrating to pick perfect-looking cherry tomatoes only to find out that they are all busted and leaking juice all over everything.

“Delicate” was mentioned on the back of the seed package. I kind of skimmed over that word the first time I read it, but now I understand what they meant by “delicate”.

If you can stand in the garden and eat these right off the plant and don’t mind that being the only way you can eat them, I’d plant it.

If not, I’d skip this variety.

Napa Chardonnay Blush

Napa Chardonnay Blush is a must-grow for my garden.

The fruit is larger sized and is very sweet with a rich flavor.

The size is about the same size as an heirloom cherry. The fruit’s color is a creamy yellow color, and the plant is quite prolific.

This variety is also from Wild Boar Farms, as is the Blue Cream Berries.

However, it has thicker skin, so it has none of the splitting issues that the Blue Cream Berries has.

These cherry tomatoes look amazing in my garden, and they have a sweet, juicy taste that is full of flavor.

Do yourself a favor, and grow these beautiful cherry tomatoes this year!

Mountain Vineyard

The Mountain Vineyard tomato is a hybrid grape tomato that is said to have a high lycopene content.

I only grew a couple of these, because the seeds were pretty expensive.

Mountain Vineyard Tomato

The flavor was fine, but I hardly got ANY tomatoes off these plants.

I kept waiting and waiting for them to get full of tomatoes, but they just never did.

I believe I got about 5-10 small grape tomatoes off 2 plants. Really only about 2 cluster’s worth.

I won’t be growing these again, mainly because I have several other grape tomatoes I like better, and because the seeds are rather expensive.

Barry's Crazy Cherry

Is a conversation starter! This tomato plant is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Each truss (cluster of fruit) has around 40-50 tomatoes on it.

They are unbelievable. When ripe, the small beaked fruit are yellow and so sweet with just a touch of acidity.

It really has a perfect tomato flavor.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Barry's Crazy Cherry

I will grow these heirloom tomatoes in my garden every year.

Best Heirloom Varieties Barry's Crazy Cherry truss
Best Heirloom Varieties Barry's Crazy Cherry fruit

If you have visitors to your garden, they will be AWESTRUCK by how unique these tomatoes are.

You’ll likely have to send them home with a pint of these babies.

The good news is that a pint of these tomatoes is really only one truss, so you’ll have plenty to spare.

Seriously, you need to grow these tomatoes.

Brad's Atomic Grape

Brad’s Atomic Grape is one of the most delicious, juicy tomatoes I’ve ever had.

The plant is a very productive indeterminate type that produces larger, grape-shaped tomatoes (around 1.5-2 inches long).

The fruits are almost iridescent, with green and purple stripes.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Brad's Atomic Grape

When ripe, the green stripes turn yellow, then orange, then red with fully ripe.

They are a little sweet and have a wonderful, intense tomato flavor.

It can be a little difficult to tell when these tomatoes are ripe just by looking at them, so you can rely on how firm or soft they are to let you know if they are ready to pick.

If they are coming close to the time you expect them to be ripe, check their softness by squeezing them gently.

If they give and feel like a ripe tomato, they are probably ready to pick.

After you see a few of these turn ripe, you’ll be able to spot them easily from then on.

You’ve just read about all the cherry tomato varieties I grew in last year’s garden.

Knock it out of the park this year with your pick of these delicious varieties!

Overall Cherry Tomato Notes:

My best picks for cherry tomatoes would have to be the Sungold Cherry, Supersweet 100, and the Napa Chardonnay Blush for solid yields and delicious fruits. If you have room, you simply must grow the Barry’s Crazy Cherry and the Brad’s Atomic Grape.

I would skip the Mountain Vineyard and the Blue Cream Berries.

Yellow-Orange Heirloom Slicers

Next on my growing list from last year are the yellow and orange heirloom tomatoes.

I grew 6 varieties of yellow-orange slicers last year so I could see which heirloom varieties did best in my clay soil. I grew:

  • Kellogg’s Breakfast
  • Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
  • Kentucky Beefsteak
  • Pineapple
  • Orange Jazz
  • Dad’s Sunset

Kellogg's Breakfast

The Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato is an heirloom slicer that produces large yellow-orange fruit.

The flavor is excellent: it’s sweet and juicy with a touch of acidity.

The size of the tomatoes is impressive.

The fruits are usually over 12 oz, and one slice will fit your sandwich or toast easily. I can taste the tomato sandwiches from these babies now!

These plants are vigorous monsters with thick stems, and diseases aren’t as much of a problem for this variety as other varieties.

If you like yellow tomato varieties, you’ll love Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato. I will definitely grow these again.

Sow Right Seeds - Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato Seeds Sow Right Seeds - Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato Seeds
  • Large, bright yellow-orange fruits
  • Classic sweet and slightly tart tomato flavor
  • Even folks who "don't like yellow tomatoes" usually love this one.
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Dr. Wyche's Yellow

Dr. Wyche’s Yellow checks a ton of the boxes for people who LOVE yellow heirloom tomato varieties.

The large, bright yellow-orange fruits are often a pound or more, and they more than fill an entire slice of bread for your tomato sandwich!

Dr Wyche's Yellow Tomato Seeds Dr Wyche's Yellow Tomato Seeds
  • Large yellow-orange fruits often reach over a pound.
  • Beautiful heirloom.
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Best Heirloom Varieties Dr. Wyche's Yellow

Its flavor is well-rounded with just the right mix of sweetness and acidity, making this one a home run for slicers.

If I could only grow one yellow/orange slicer, it would be Dr. Wyche’s Yellow.

Kentucky Beefsteak

Kentucky Beefsteak is an impressive tomato that can reach 2 lbs per fruit.

It has a low acid content which gives the fruit a very mellow flavor. If you have room in your garden, I would grow these.

Best Heirloom Varieties Kentucky Beefsteak

Pineapple

The Pineapple tomato is a fan-favorite heirloom tomato. It has red/orange/yellow marbling throughout the fruit, and can easily reach 2 lbs.
Best Heirloom Tomatoes Pineapple

I remember my parents growing this tomato for years when I was a kid.

My mom couldn’t eat regular tomatoes because they always had too much acid for her, but she could eat these.

Orange Jazz

These tomatoes are absolutely enormous, and they have a great flavor.

They are what is known as a bi-color tomato, and have gorgeous striations on them.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Orange Jazz

Dad's Sunset

The Dad’s Sunset is a smaller, yellow-orange tomato with a delicious sweet flavor.

The fruits are around 12 oz, and are not prone to cracking.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Dad's Sunset

Some say this tomato is the first to bear fruit in their garden which is always a plus.

The size is perfect in some ways because sometimes an enormous slicing tomato is just too big.

If you only need a tomato for a sandwich or two, this tomato is perfect for that.

You get just the right amount with no waste or leftovers.

Overall Yellow/Orange Slicer Notes:

My best picks for Yellow Orange Heirloom tomato varieties are Dr. Wyche’s Yellow for the all-around winner for taste, the Orange Jazz for being the enormous striated conversation-starter that it is, and the Dad’s Sunset for a smaller-sized all-around yellow-orange slicer.

If you only have room for one, I’d go with the Dr. Wyche’s Yellow.

Smokey Dark Red/Purple Slicers

This category of tomato is my absolute favorite.

These tomatoes are meaty, juicy, and have the perfect depth of flavor.

There is just something about these tomatoes that I absolutely love.

They will always have as much space in my garden as I can give them.

Paul Robeson

This is the first year I have grown the Paul Robeson tomato and it is already a favorite.

It’s an indeterminate plant growing about 5-6 feet tall at maturity.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Paul Robeson

The fruits are dark red with an almost greenish tinge to them.

They taste delicious with just the right amount of acidity – not too sweet.

Cherokee Purple

The Cherokee Purple has been a favorite of mine for years.

They are large, juicy, and have that perfect tomato flavor that everyone loves. One slice more than covers an entire sandwich.

This is an insanely popular heirloom tomato variety that is on countless “best heirloom tomato” lists.

If people are familiar with one of these dark reddish-purple slicers, the Cherokee Purple is usually the one they are familiar with.

If there is an heirloom tomato plant for sale at your big-box retailer, it is usually the Cherokee Purple.

The Cherokee Purple grows well in just about any climate and does great as a container plant.

They fruit heavily, producing anywhere from 6 to 12 tomatoes on a healthy plant.

The plants are also quite tall, growing up to eight feet in height.

Give these guys plenty of room to spread out, and you will be rewarded with an abundance of delicious tomatoes.

Botanical Interests- Cherokee Purple Tomato Seeds Botanical Interests- Cherokee Purple Tomato Seeds
  • THE smoky red heirloom you're thinking about!
  • If you ever had a delicious smoky red heirloom that you'd love to try again, but can't remember the name, it was probably this baby!
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Best Heirloom Tomatoes Cherokee Purple

I highly recommend growing the Cherokee Purple tomato in your garden this year.

They are a classic variety that everyone should experience at least once.

True Black Brandywine

The regular Brandywine tomato is a potato leaf variety tomato, and the True Black Brandywine is as well.

This tomato is a solid choice, giving great yields with a wonderful taste.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes True Black Brandywine

I did experience some leaf curl right after planting with this tomato variety, but it cleared up a few weeks after I got the plants into the ground.

Black Krim

The Black Krim Tomato is “black” variety from Crimea, and it has an almost cult-like following.

The plants are tall and vigorous, and it is a solid producer with great tomato flavor.

Black Krim Pole Tomato Seeds – Botanical Interests Black Krim Pole Tomato Seeds – Botanical Interests
  • Smoky, dusky red slicer from Crimea
  • Heirloom so you can save seeds for later years
  • Indeterminate tomato will grow well over 6 feet tall


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Best Heirloom Tomatoes Black Krim

This tomato will be a delicious, prolific producer for you and you won’t be disappointed with it.

Overall notes on Smokey Dark Red/Purple slicers:

Since this is my absolute favorite category of tomato, it’s very difficult for me to recommend some and not others.

However, I do realize that not everyone can (or wants to) plant 40+ tomato plants in their garden. So, I’ll doing my best to pair down this list for you 🙂

If I could only grow 2 smokey dark red/purple heirloom tomato varieties, I would grow Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple.

The other varieties are amazing, but these are the two I would pick if I could only grow two.

Paste Tomatoes

Amish Paste

A lot of folks love the Amish Paste tomato for paste and sauce making.

I thought the tomato was great once it got bigger, but when it was smaller, the plants were very fragile.

They drooped quite a bit, even though they were attached to a trellis.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Amish Paste

They did grow out of that “weak” phase, but I was concerned for them all for a while.

The tomatoes themselves were great once I got to that point. I don’t feel like baby-sitting them this year, so I probably won’t grow them again.

Hungarian Heart

These were large oxheart-shaped pink tomatoes on plants that were very prolific.

I couldn’t have asked for better production.

They had a wonderful flavor. Were a solid all-around tomato.

I’ve heard that they are amazing as paste tomatoes, and I know they are great as slicers, because that is how I used them.

Costoluto Fiorentino

These are beautiful ruffled tomatoes that made tons and tons of tomatoes per plant.

They are early to fruit and have a lighter tomato flavor.

They are a showstopper in the garden and are practically blemish-free.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Costoluto Florentino

This is another tomato that people swear by as a paste tomato.

I’ve never made sauce from the tomatoes, but I did use them as slicers and in salads.

They are one of the most beautiful tomatoes I’ve ever seen, so if you have room, you should definitely grow these.

Overall notes on Paste Tomatoes:

I am going to go rogue on this one.

I know that the Amish Paste is supposed to be a great paste tomato, but the plants required too much baby-sitting for my taste.

Their stems were not as vigorous as the other varieties, and I had to keep my eye on them constantly.

I was always having to tie them up more than the others, and there were times when the potted-up seedlings feel over and I had no idea.

For this reason, I recommend the Costoluto Florentino and the Hungarian Heart for paste tomatoes.

Their beauty, disease resistance, and massive quantities couldn’t be beat in my garden.

Miscellaneous Tomatoes

Climbing Trip L Crop

The Vining Trip L Crop tomato is a tomato that actually vines as it grows upwards, and can be up to 20 feet tall with sufficient support.

This tomato MUST be trellised.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Climbing Trip L Crop

It is unbelievably productive, with each plant producing several BUSHELS of tomatoes.

This tomato gives big, beautiful slicers that are also great for canning.

If you have extremely limited space, need a ton of fruit for something like canning, and you can give this plant the physical support it needs, you have to grow this tomato.

Rutgers

Rutgers is a solid choice for an all-purpose determinate tomato.

Determinate tomatoes ripen all at the same, rather than fruiting and ripening until frost kills the plant.

This makes them a good choice for projects where you need a lot of tomatoes that are ripe at the same time, such as canning.

Best Heirloom tomatoes

Rutgers tomatoes are smaller, and the plants are very prolific.

Since they are a determinate variety, the plant does not grow to the same height as indeterminate varieties do.

This plant could be a very solid choice for you if you only have the ability to trellis shorter plants.

Mountain Vineyard

The Mountain Vineyard tomato is a hybrid grape tomato that is said to have a high lycopene content.

I only grew a couple of these, because the seeds were pretty expensive.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Mountain Vineyard

The flavor of the Mountain Vineyard was fine, but I hardly got ANY tomatoes off these plants.

I kept waiting and waiting for them to get full of tomatoes, but they just never did.

I believe I got about 5-10 small grape tomatoes off 2 plants.

Really only about 2 cluster’s worth. I won’t be growing these again, mainly because I have several other grape tomatoes I like better, and because the seeds are rather expensive.

Solar Flare

Brad Gates from Wild Boar Farms developed this tomato and he calls it his, “workhorse”.

It is a red beefsteak with yellow stripes, and its fruits are around 6-10 oz.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Solar Flare

Every time I saw this tomato plant, it was loaded with beautiful fruit.

Even when some of my plants stopped producing as much as the season began to wind down, the Solar Flare tomato continued to produce.

Pink Boar

Another Brad Gates tomato, the Pink Boar is a striking, solid-producing tomato with red and green stripes.

I planted a lot of tomatoes from Wild Boar Farms, because they are known for their unique, showy tomatoes that are all worth checking out.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Pink Boar

When I plant tomatoes like the Pink Boar from Wild Boar Farms, I *know* that it will be an adventure and that they will produce something I’ve never seen before.

If you love beautiful unique tomatoes, try the Pink Boar tomato.

Copia

The Copia tomato is a beautiful yellow and red striped beefsteak tomato that yields large, sweet and juicy tomatoes.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Copia

The tomato is the result of a stable cross between a Marvel Stripe and a Green Zebra tomato.

The fruits are an average of 1 lb and are very striking.

If you’re looking for a delicious beefsteak tomato that yields large, sweet and juicy fruits, then the Copia is a great choice.

Mortgage Lifter

The Mortgage Lifter is a famous heirloom tomato with almost legendary status.

According to Southern Exposure Seed Savers Exchange (www.southernexposure.com), this pinkish-red tomato was bred from 4 different parent varieties in the 1930’s by a fellow named M.C. Byles, AKA “Radiator Charlie”.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Mortgage Lifter

After Radiator Charlie stabilized the tomato, he sold seedlings for $1 each.

He paid off his $6000 mortgage in 6 years with the profits from the tomato seedlings.

The fruit can reach 2 lbs each and the plant is quite disease-resistant.

Thorburn's Terra Cotta

Thorburn’s Terra Cotta is a beautiful orange tomato with green shoulders.

It was the first tomato in both of my gardens to bear fruit and ripen.

In my opinion, it is worth it to me to grow the tomato for that reason alone.

Best Heirloom Tomatoes Thorburn's Terracotta

It doesn’t have the biggest yield, but the fact that it bears fruit so early means that your tomato drought is over a few weeks sooner than before!

Overall Notes on Miscellaneous Tomatoes:

I have to recommend Thorburn’s Terracotta because of its beauty and because of how early it sets fruits and ripens.

It was a treat to see these larger tomatoes ripening earlier than I expected.

For this reason alone, I’ll grow these.

I also must recommend Climbing Trip-L Crop for its taste and yield.

If you are low on space and need to provide as much food for your family as possible, you simply must grow the Climbing Trip-L-Crop.

The Solar Flare was full of beautiful tomatoes every time I saw one of these plants, so I must recommend these as well.

And of course, the story alone is reason enough to grow the Mortgage Lifter tomato.

Conclusion

We have reviewed the best heirloom tomato varieties around, and I’ve given you my thoughts on which are worth it, and which ones you can skip.

Growing the best heirloom tomatoes is such a fun and tasty adventure.

I hope you grow as many of these heirloom tomatoes as you possibly can this season.

Which varieties will you try? comment below and let us know!

NEW: Tomato Savings Calculator

I looked all over the internet for an all-in-one calculator like this, but couldn’t find one. 

So, I made one myself.

Just plug in the number of people in your family and how much you like tomatoes and this handy calculator does the rest.

Enter your email address and get the calculator details emailed to you so you can use them to plan you garden!

 

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