[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here are over six hundred different types of tomato plants. Yes, six hundred. And there's no sign of tomato varieties stopping. There are heirloom tomatoes which are the result of seeds that are passed down from generation to generation. And there are hybrid tomato plants which combine two different varieties of tomato plant to produce a cultivated variety with beneficial traits from both its parent plants. Hybrid tomatoes are gently engineered to have improved disease resistance, a better tasting fruit, or even a longer growing season.
Some other terms you should know about the wide world of tomatoes are determinate tomatoes vs. indeterminate tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes have genetically determined growth stats. How wide, how high, the length of season, etc. Determinate are good for small deck or patio gardens since you know how much space you'll need.
Indeterminate tomatoes are more of a wild card. They'll grow larger and produce tomatoes throughout the season, getting pretty big and heavy. You'll need tomato cages and some staking to keep them from falling all over themselves.
You can spend the rest of your life tasting all the different tomato varieties the world has to offer. You'll definitely giggle at some of these names Like "Better Boy" and "Mr. Stripey." So, let's get started with this drop in the bucket list of different types of tomatoes.
26 Types Of Tomatoes For You To Try
1. Cherokee purple
This tomato variety originated in Tennessee with the theory being that it's been passed down from the Cherokee tribe! This heirloom tomato variety has a rich, dark color with a sweet, meaty taste on sandwiches and in salads.
2. Roma tomatoes
Synonymous with tomato paste and tomato sauce, Roma tomato plants produce a lot egg shaped, thick-walled, Crayola-red types of tomatoes with a meaty texture. It's not really considered a slicing tomato, but because it doesn't have a lot of seeds, it's great on sandwiches anyway. Since it's less juicy, it's also good for omelettes.
3. Early Girl Tomato
Like the name suggests, Early Girl is a hybrid that is one of the first table ready tomato varieties of the season. Use this bred for success hybrid for sandwiches, salads, and mozzarella and basil plates. Early Girl gets a lot done in a tomato season. Expect up to 300 tomatoes in ideal conditions with a long growing season.
4. Jersey Boy Tomato
The Jersey Boy tomato is a hybrid beefsteak tomato developed by the Burpee Seeds company. Burpee nicknamed it the "Supertomato" because it gets all the rich red color and taste of a classic Rutgers tomato and the pedigree of the heirloom variety Brandywine tomato. It's big and juicy, with a slightly sweet 'n sour flavor. I wonder if Early Girl and Jersey Boy have ever met?
5. The Plum Tomato
Also called a paste tomato, this is more of a category than a type of plant. Less juicy, fewer seeds, and a thicker flesh make them the choice for cooking down in sauces or even roasting. Canned is the best choice for off season tomato recipes
Roma and San Marzano tomatoes are the most well-known canned plum tomatoes in the Italian sauce section. Other tomato varieties popular for canning are Ropreco Paste, Amish Paste, and my favorite, The Big Mama.
Fun Fact Alert! Five types of cultivars (hybrid tomato plants) grown in California make up over 60% of the total production of processing tomatoes.
6. San Marzano
These teardrop-shaped, meaty, plum tomatoes are known for being fruity, sweet, and complex. Restaurant menus mention them by name because if the tomato sauce was made with San Marzanos, it's a good indication that the pasta sauce will be amazing. San Marzano are large and in charge, meaning their vines are heavy. They are indeterminate tomatoes meaning they grow wherever they want to and you'll need tomato cages or staking.
The Sungold hybrid gets its name from their bright orange color and their extra sweet tomato flavor. They look great on a crudite platter and are sweet enough to eat by themselves.
8. Black Cherry Tomato
This tomato hybrid was bred in Florida to be perfectly round with a dark, rich, sweet flavor. Skewer them for kebabs, plop them in salads, or just eat them for snacking with a salt shaker.
9. Green Zebra
The Green Zebra is a tomato hybrid cultivar with dark green and yellow stripes. The flavor is more tart than a regular tomato but for those who like that zingy flavor, these are a good tomato to try. Usually, a green tomato is immediately disqualified to eat. We think it's most likely unripe and hard, but the Green Zebra proves you shouldn't judge a tomato by its color.
10. Yellow Pear Tomatoes
With a mild flavor and low acidity, this pear-shaped cherry tomato looks so unique in salads. It produces all summer long, too!
11. Better Boy
Better Boy tomatoes are a large fruit with high yields. The fruit has a classic tomato flavor to go along with the deep red color. Flavor-wise, there's a good balance of acid and sugar. These are perfect as a slicing tomato because they're giant and easy to handle. Better Boy tomatoes are great on subs and one slice covers an entire bagel.
12. Big Beef Tomato
This Beefsteak is a tough 'ole tomato with a classic tomato flavor with vines that are resistant to garden diseases like verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt. Heavy and juicy, this is always a safe choice for the perfect hamburger toppings bar.
13. Pink Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes
This large heirloom tomato has a rosy pink color with a tangy tomato flavor.
14. Rutgers Heirloom Tomato
The Rutgers tomato is a popular choice for hybrid mating. It's everything you'd want in a tomato husband. It has thick flesh, excellent flavor, and produces lots of fruit.
15. Summer Sandwich Tomato
This juicy, slicing tomato needs mayonnaise and bacon and it needs it NOW. It ripens early and is a must have at summer BBQs where hamburgers are involved.
16. Midnight Snacker Tomato
This indigo colored cherry tomato turns red with glossy dark purple sheen. The darker the tomato, the more licopenes and antioxidants you count on. Like the name suggests, toss these types of tomatoes into your mouth at midnight instead of those Oreos and sleep well.
17. Mr. Stripey Heirloom Tomato Beefsteak
This heirloom tomato has a high sugar content and is beautiful when sliced. With a sweet and mild tomato flavor, these can be blended with other stronger flavored tomatoes to get the best of both tomato worlds.
18. Patio Tomato
The Patio Tomato is a hybrid that gives you up to 50 tomatoes per plant over the 8 week harvest. Surround your lounge chair with containers of Patio Tomatoes. The flavor is bright and sweet and the egg size tomatoes have pretty striping too! They're only two feet tall so don't get crazy with the nude sunbathing.
19. Black Krim
The Black Krim is an heirloom tomato from the Isle of Krim in the Black Sea. The tomato plant is open-pollinated like all heirlooms, meaning it needs to be pollinated by the wind, insects, or the gardener. Black Krims are dark reddish purple tomatoes with a sweet slightly smoky flavor.
Originally only grown on the Isle of Krim (sounds like a super cool place), in 1990, it became the first "black" tomato you could buy in the US.
20. Tami Gi Grape Tomatoes
Tami Gi grape tomatoes are firm and sweet grape tomatoes. They can grow up to 9 feet tall in one season with long vines. Almost like grape clusters, they make a dramatic presentation on a picnic table. I don't know who Tami Gi is, but I like her tomatoes.
21. Sunrise Sauce Tomato
Bright orange in color, these types of tomatoes are sweet and flavorful They're perfect for sauce because they're meaty and easy to peel. You can eat them as is, but the flavor really explodes when they're cooked.
22. Ponchi Mi Tomato
This tiny tomato plant grows perfectly right on a large sunny windowsill or deck. These types of tomatoes produce sweet and small fruit.
23. Phoenix Tomato
Phoenix Tomatoes like it hot. This hybrid was intended for South Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and places with that famous heat. Phoenix sets tasty fruit in summer's most intense heat. You'll get a heavy harvest of medium sized red tomatoes in about a week to 10 days.
24. Jet Star Tomato
Firm, meaty, with low acidity, Jet Star tomatoes are classic hamburger topping tomatoes. Expect about 100 tomatoes per plant during the season! Jet Star is just a cool name too.
25. Husky Red Cherry Tomato
With their juicy super sweet flavor, toss these in a ziploc bag for lunch with some string cheese on the side. Why should kids get all the good lunch box snacks? Despite the being named "Husky," this plant is actually one of the prettier houseplant-style tomato plants.
26. Golden Jubilee Heirloom
These large types of tomatoes are meaty and thick with a mild flavor and not a lot of seeds. They do need to be caged and supported with stakes to support their weight.
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.