Last Updated: August 28, 2023
Tomatoes are not the easiest garden plants to grow. As a result, harvesting tasty, fresh tomatoes is one of the most satisfying accomplishments for any gardener.
When selecting varieties, most growers seek out the best tasting tomatoes. So, in this article, I’ve rounded up some of the most flavorful, universally-loved tomatoes you can grow in your own backyard.
We have grown a lot of tomato varieties (and more every year), so we’ve had our fair share of bad-tasting varieties. This article is made up of our personal favorites for taste, and a few that are commonly regarded as winners.
Best Tasting Cherry Tomatoes
If you love snacking on your tomatoes in the garden, then chances are you love cherry tomatoes. So do I.
Cherry and grape tomatoes are my favorites to grow, and I spend every summer popping them like candy. Here are some of my top picks for flavorful cherry tomatoes:
- Indigo rose. Indigo rose was developed at OSU by Jim Myers, and is the first “improved” tomato variety with anthocyanins in the fruits. These pigments cause the tomatoes to blush purple when exposed to sunlight. More importantly, indigo rose has a delicious, sweet flavor. They’re perfect for snacking, and for adding beautiful, deep color to salads and sauces.
- Super Sweet 100. One of my personal all-time favorites is the super sweet 100. This hybrid produces 1-1.5″ fruits packed with sweetness and just the right touch of tartness to balance it out. The plants can grow super tall, and produce some of the largest trusses I have ever seen (several dozen tomatoes per strand!). If you want to impress your friends and family with truly delicious cherry tomatoes, try super sweet 100.
- SunSugar. You may be surprised to see hybrid tomatoes as some of the best tasting varieties, but fear not! SunSugar has an incredibly sweet, candy-like flavor that is nearly unmatched in the tomato world. You’ll get early yields and continuous harvests from this indeterminate variety. Note: We tried sungold vs sunsugar side-by-side – guess which won!
- Camp joy. For the best well-rounded flavor in a cherry format, camp joy delivers. This variety is more than just pure sweetness, it has depth and complexity that is hard to find in smaller tomato types. It also carries some disease resistance, making it a great starter variety with impressive flavor.
- Jaune flamme. This slightly larger cherry tomato has been a winner for decades. The apricot-orange colored fruits have a balanced mix of sweet and tart, making them versatile in the kitchen. This French variety is great fresh, roasted, dehydrated, in sauces, or on salads.
- Sunrise bumble bee. If you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful cherry tomato with amazing flavor, then you need to try the Sunrise bumble bee. The fruits have splashes of orange, red and green as they ripen. These plants are vigorous and fast growing too, so you can expect a bumper crop of delectable tomatoes, all summer long.
- Ildi. More grape than cherry, these small, yellow tomatoes produce early and abundantly. The tiny pops of sweetness will keep you going in the summer garden, and are perfect for adding gorgeous golden color to your meals.
- Amy’s sugar gem. If any tomato’s name can make your mouth water, this one might be the one. Jeff McCormack developed this cross between a red cherry and a larger heirloom called ‘Tappy’s finest.’ The result is a larger cherry type with exceptional sweetness and depth of flavor. One of the tastiest tomatoes!
While there are a huge number of tasty cherry tomatoes, this list is a great place to start. If you’re new to growing, you can’t go wrong with any of these scrumptious cherry varieties!
Best Tasting Large Tomatoes
While my preference is with the smaller tomatoes (especially for snacking), larger, globe-type tomatoes have their place, too. So, if you’re looking to make delicious tomato sauce, or grow the perfect sandwich slicer, here are some of the best tasting varieties:
- Cherokee purple. One of the most notable and delicious slicer tomatoes is the Cherokee purple. The unique brownish, crimson color is intriguing, but the flavor is the main reason to grow them. Cherokee tomatoes perfectly explain why people speak highly of “heirloom” varieties – the flavor is incredible!
- Brandywine. Another heirloom with outstanding flavor is the brandywine variety. If you’re in need of an XL tomato with amazing taste, this beefsteak type will deliver. Keep in mind, these will grow tall and require support, especially later in the season as the up to 1lb fruits form! Struggle with tomato diseases? Try the Brandywise variety from Fruition Seeds.
- Better boy. Another large variety, better boy is a great choice for anyone who needs to grow a lot of tomatoes. This super high-yielding variety has medium to large fruits and tasty, full-bodied flavor. Originally bred to improve on the ‘big boy’ variety, this one is a keeper.
- Garden peach. While not all will agree with me on this one, I think the garden peach tomato has excellent flavor. Not only that, but the slightly fuzzy, thin skin gives this variety an extra layer of unique experience. I love eating these in fresh tomato salads or on sandwiches. Learn more here.
- Berkeley tie dye. Coming in both the classic pink and also green varieties, the Berkeley tie dye is one of the best tasting tomatoes out there. These have won countless awards for their beauty and their flavor, so if you want to grow something special, this is a great choice.
- Rose de Berne. In Europe, the Rose de Berne is widely held as one of the best tasting tomatoes, period. The medium size has all the complexities you might expect from the massive beefsteak types, only in a smaller package. Easier to maintain and support in the garden, and beautiful, too.
- Gold medal. This variety comes from an Ohio tomato collector and was once called “the sweetest tomato you ever tasted.” With gorgeous bi-colored fruits of golden yellow and sunset-red, these are stand-out slicer tomatoes in every way. Eat them on sandwiches, in sauce, and dehydrated.
Most of these larger tomato varieties have potential to become a favorite in the garden. If you’re looking for a new tomato to grow with amazing flavor, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
Tips for growing tastier tomatoes
While variety selection is probably the most important step towards delicious tomatoes, there are some techniques you can use in the garden, too. Here are some proven methods for growing more flavorful tomatoes:
- Plant in full sun. Tomatoes love sunlight, so find the sunniest spot in your garden for the plants. Also, make sure to space your plants properly. Another common method to get more sun on your plants is to trellis your tomatoes and grow them vertically. This can save precious space in your soil by maximizing vertical space.
- Water less often near harvest time. While tomatoes drink lots of water, they have their limits. If your tomatoes are nearing ripeness, water less than you normally would. This helps concentrate sugars and flavor in the fruits. Too much water at harvest time can also lead to cracking, so this tip is a no brainer!
- Enrich the soil. Tomato plants use lots of nutrients throughout the season. If the soil is lacking nutrition, enrich it with organic amendments like compost, slow release fertilizer, worm castings, or blood and bone meal. Avoid adding epsom salt or eggshells, as these offer little benefit to the soil.
Share your top tomatoes for flavor in the comments below. I’m always interested in growing new varieties to discover even better tomatoes. With that said, I’ll always grow many of the tomatoes on this list!