Are you looking for the best heirloom tomato varieties to grow in your garden? Here are my tried and true favorites for the BEST tomatoes.
If you are anything like me, you spend a lot of time pouring over all of those seed catalogs that show up in your mailbox! I’ve got a table full: Baker Creek, Sow True Seed, Seed Savers Exchange…
Sometimes it can be hard to narrow down your selections when there are so many choices to choose from! If I had it my way I would buy everything and try them all! Maybe one day I will, but for now I try to keep my selections to a couple new varieties and lots of old favorites,
Over the years I have tried LOTS of heirloom tomato varieties. Some produced well and some not. Some tasted amazing and some not so much. Here’s a list of some of my very favorite heirloom tomato varieties.
Keep in mind that not all tomatoes produce the same in every area. I live in Western NC, and gardened for years in East TN- zone 6b to 7a. If you live in a colder or shorter growing area, check out my list of 8 Fast Growing Early Tomatoes.
The Best Heirloom Tomato Varieties to Grow in Your Garden
There are a ton of great tomato varieties out there, these are the ones I have tried and loved over the years.
I’ve ordered them by size, starting with smaller, cherry or pear size and going up to large beefsteak varieties.
I’ve also noted whether it’s a paste tomato variety, slicer, etc.
Best Small Heirloom Tomato Varieties
This list includes cherry, pear, grape, and other small sized tomatoes.
For years I grew red cherry tomatoes for the kids to snack on, until one year we tried these little yellow pears and everyone suddenly had a new favorite.
These little tomatoes are only about 1- 1.5″ and one plant will put out a ton of tomatoes! We love these best for fresh eating- straight from the vine!
After years of growing yellow pears, we decided to branch out with chocolate pears. They did not disappoint.
Just a few plants gave huge yields and they were delicious!
Sungold select (II) has been our go-to cherry for over 7 years.
They are usually the first to ripen in the garden and produce all season long, even after other plants have faded away.
These tiny, yellow cherries have amazing, sweet flavor all tomato fans will love.
Pink bumblebee tomatoes are larger than your average cherry tomato, and extremely flavorful.
When ripe this tomato is pinkish-red with orange striping.
The fruits resist cracking and are very prolific in their production.
Best Medium Heirloom Tomato Varieties
This list includes the smaller slicers and paste-sized tomatoes
This paste tomato has been a staple in my garden ever since I first discovered it years and years ago.
It is a delicious Roma-type tomato that has an amazing flavor.
It produces well and is just perfect for making tomato sauce!
Hungarian Paste tomatoes came into my garden about the same time as the Amish paste and are my second favorite paste tomato.
They are a potato-leaved variety with good yields and a nice flavor.
I like to combine the subtle differences in flavors in my sauces and the Amish/Hungarian paste combo adds a nice depth.
The Abe Lincoln tomato is a nice, meaty slicing tomato. It produces fruits that are amazingly uniform in shape, about 5-7 inches in diameter.
I love the uniformity of this variety- it makes a nice market seller!
This tomato variety produces throughout the entire growing season and seldom cracks like many other tomatoes are prone to do.
Dark galaxy tomato
I grew the Dark Galaxy tomato for the first time in 2019 and it is stunning.
Beyond the fact that it’s beautiful, the fruits taste amazing and were abundant in production.
This particular variety was fought over by my family all season long!
I received Ace 55 as a free packet in a seed order a few years ago and I am so glad I did! It is a sweet tomato, with a less acidic taste.
Great for eating as fresh slices or on a sandwich. Like the Abe Lincoln it makes a great market tomato due to it’s resistance to cracking and bruising.
This one proved it self worthy this past summer when we had more rain than I can remember. While all my other tomatoes were wilting, rotting from the inside out, and struggling to survive these tomatoes held strong producing lots of nice uniform fruits!
Green Zebra tomatoes are small, yellowish tomatoes with green stripes. They produce a nice yield with a sweet, tangy taste.
They are beautiful to look at, cook with and are sure to make a great market seller!
The Costoluto Florentino was a new addition in 2019 and it earned a place in my garden immediately.
It is an Italian sauce and slicing tomato with amazing production and taste.
The fruits deeply ruffled and were all uniform in shape and color. They added a great flavor to my sauce!
One of my son’s chose this variety one year because he wanted white tomatoes- which I was not so sure about!
But these produced quite well and my other boys loved their flavor and texture- saying that they were very smooth tasting. The thing I liked best about these white tomatoes were that they seem to be resistant to chicken pecking!
The chickens that made it into our garden would pass over the large, white, ripe fruits in favor of the bright orange and red ones.
You can’t go wrong with a Roma when it comes to paste tomatoes!
They are my original paste tomato, and I still love them!
They have high yield, amazing sweetness and flavor. They make a wonderful sauce, salsa and paste, especially combined with the Amish and Hungarian Paste varieties.
I use these in my homemade ketchup as well.
Another 2019 new addition, this beautiful tomato was an instant favorite.
The tomatoes are deep blue or blackish on the tops, and dark red on the bottoms.
They are crack resistance, sunburn resistant, and the vines give a ton of fruits all year long.
Best Large Heirloom Tomato Varieties
These are larger tomatoes, most giving fruits over 1 lb! I don’t grow a ton of large tomatoes, but here are 2 of my favorites.
My son purchased the Golden King of Siberia for the first time a few years ago. They produce amazing bright yellow fruits that are somewhat heart shaped. Fruits get up to about 1 pound each!
For their size they are surprisingly meaty without a lot of seeds.
They have a nice sweet flavor that quickly became a favorite among my kids. It also made a nice and colorful addition to salsa and sauces!
The Orange Farallones Tomato is a very large and meaty, beefsteak variety.
They have a everything going for them- yield, flavor, size. Makes a great tomato sandwich! They are also meaty enough to be used in salsa without adding too much water.
Looking for more test varieties to try in your garden? Check out these articles:
The Best Cucumber Varieties to Try
The Best Heirloom Sweet Pepper Varieties
I made my long list of heirloom tomato seeds I want to get this year, but I think now I’ll have to add to it! Thanks for sharing these.
I know, Sarah! I just wrote out my seed order and it has 50 things. And I wanted to go light this year so I could use up old seeds….I think I am hopeless!
As a tomato grower I can totally understand how you could add about a dozen other varieties to the list. It always amazes me how many varieties are there. My list is long too, but it is a totally different one, since we live in a short growing season area. Golden King of Siberia should be good for us too, need to try it.
I’ve always had success with Romas, but I’m hoping to branch out a bit. I think I’ll be adding a few you suggested. I “pinned” this one my blog’s Pinterest board.
I’m hoping to see some more of your great ideas in gardening. If you’re feeling inclined, I host Friday link-ups: 104homestead.weebly.com/1/category/blog%20hop/1.html
I always have issues with heirloom varieties starting from seed. only about 10% of them actually make it to plants…
Thank you so much for the list AND for the links!!
You’re welcome! I hope you found some new types to try!
Thanks for the recommendations! I would like to know how you water your tomato plants. Thanks, Nickie
Tomatoes do best when they are watered from the bottom. Getting their leaves wet sets them up for more disease. If you water always water the base of the plant. And when planting make sure to space them enough so that they have good air circulation between plants to dry when it rains.
Great list which includes some of my favorites. I love Green Zebra!
Is there anywebsite that i can order heirloom tomato seeds ? Thank you in advance.
Follow the links on the tomato variety names and it will take you to a few good places to buy seeds
I use 12 different varieties of Heirloom , 3 hybr. tomatoes in raising tomatoes , I plant 350 plants . We — can – freeze and dry them, we make loads of garlic tom. paste , no seeds or skins, we make tom. juice from the skins. All our gardens are organic and raised beds.
Our main FERT. is Rabbit manure plus my own mix added in the fall and before planting, We are not SUPPER MARKET people.
Our family has not purchased seed , our hybr, seeds are given free to try and test. We save seed.
Thank you :: silverbill
Yes, I also have a list of heirloom varieties I like very much.. First is Rome, then Goldman Italian American. Then there are three varieties that we have in our garden for over 40 years: Moms Heart, Pink Delice and Michaela’s Pink
Where can i buy seeds to the tomato called Farallones Orange????