Tomatoes are America’s favorite garden vegetable (technically fruit). That’s why each year there are loads of tomato taste tests across the country. I have reviewed several of these taste tests to identify the best-tasting tomatoes among them. I also used taste tests conducted at universities and other horticultural institutions. This list comprises the 10 tomatoes that rise to the top, time after time.
Because taste test results vary, I also added my own two cents. I have grown over 50 different tomato varieties, all noted as having superior flavor. Many of my own favorites were also official taste test winners.
10 Best-Tasting Tomatoes
- ‘Sun Gold‘ (cherry tomato, Indeterminate) fruits are borne in quantity on prolific vines and are prone to cracking after heaving rains, so plant them in well-drained soil, and harvest ripe fruits before heavy rains.
- ‘Aunt Ruby’s German Green‘ (beefsteak, indeterminate, heirloom (date of origin unknown)) turns bright yellowish-green when mature. Fruits can reach up to 1 lb each. If green tomatoes are not your thing, look past the color like Sam I Am would say about Green Eggs and Ham. This outstanding tomato is sweet, tart, and full-flavored. It has won taste test after taste test. The heirloom was discovered in the garden of Ruby Arnold of Greenville, Tennessee. It had been handed down by her German immigrant grandfather.
- ‘Cherokee Purple‘ (slicer, indeterminate, heirloom c. 1809) fruits are large, deep purplish-red, and have a meaty texture and good balance between sweetness and old-fashioned tomato flavor. Count on productive vines. As the story goes, this very old heirloom variety originated from a Tennesee family who reportedly received the seeds from area Cherokee Tribe’s People in the 1890s. Its longevity as a garden favorite is due to its reliable award-winning flavor.
- ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast‘ (beefsteak, indeterminate) is the finest tasting of the orange slicing tomatoes. Its large, slightly lobed fruits are bright orange with smooth, meaty flesh that is fruity, sweet, and flavorful. The heat-loving vines produce heavily. Not only has this Michigan heirloom gotten top taste-test marks, but Sunset Magazine food editors named it one of the best-tasting tomatoes of all time.
- ‘Gold Medal‘ (beefsteak, indeterminate, heirloom c. 1920) is arguably the top bicolor for taste. The giant 1-3 lb fruits are perfectly marbled with red and yellow and are large, meaty, and juicy. It has won lots of taste tests where it has been described as luscious and superb. I have grown it for years and heartily agree. If only the vines were a bit more prolific. Still, this is one heirloom you must grow for flavor.
- ‘Carbon‘ (slicer, indeterminate) has large, firm, juicy fruits of deepest purplish-red. The smooth tomatoes have won many taste tests, most notably one at Cornell University, and are produced on prolific, disease-resistant vines. The flavor is described as rich and complex.
- ‘Big Rainbow‘ (beefsteak, indeterminate, heirloom (date of origin unknown)) is truly big and beautiful as well as delicious. Taste testers note the marked fruity sweetness of the yellow fruits, which are marbled with red. One tomato can reach up to 2 lbs, so stake the vines well. The flesh is very soft and juicy, so treat the fruits with care. The heirloom originates from Mauckport, Indiana.
- ‘Red Brandywine‘ (beefsteak, indeterminate, heirloom c. 1889) is one of several Brandywine tomato varieties, but it is likely the best-known. The deep red fruits are juicy, tart, and big on sweet tomato flavor. Lovers of classic red slicing tomatoes should grow this one! Amy Goldman, the author of The Heirloom Tomato, describes it as perfection.
- ‘Brandysweet Plum‘ (plum tomato, indeterminate) is a more recent introduction that is believed to be a cross between ‘Red Brandywine’ and the ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomato, both flavorful tomatoes. The result is a stellar plum tomato that is sweet, juicy, and excellent for fresh eating or sauce making. It has appeared with top marks on several taste tests.
- ‘Flamme‘ or ‘Jaunne Flamme’ (saladette, indeterminate, heirloom ) is an early bearer that produces loads of small, round, bright orange salad tomatoes on productive vines. The French heirloom is noted for citrusy, fruity tomatoes that have won many regional taste tests. Amy Goldman gives it an “excellent” rating for flavor.
Other notable, tasty varieties include ‘Cherokee Chocolate‘, ‘Black Krim‘, ‘German Red Strawberry‘, ‘Franchi’s Italian Pear‘, and ‘Virginia Sweets‘.
To learn more about growing tomatoes from seed to harvest, we recommend watching this handy video.
<p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-DuYxxNpSEc" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2><a href="https://blackgold.bz/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Black-Gold_GYO_Tomatoes-From-Seed-To-Harvest_8.5x11_031820-Final.pdf">Click here for a Step-by-Step PDF.</a></h2>
Learn More about great-tasting tomatoes via the Cornell University vegetable database. Also, check out our article about the ten best-tasting cherry tomatoes (click here to read).