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.
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: