Purple tomatoes are among the most flavorful tomatoes available. Their characteristic taste is deep and complex, with a perfectly balanced sugary sweetness and crisp acidity. Many have an earthy aroma and an almost smoky taste. Here are 15+ of the most popular (and delectable) purple tomato varieties to try!
1. Cherokee Purple tomatoes
The Cherokee Purple Tomato is perhaps the most popular purple tomato variety due to its beautiful peel color and gourmet flavor. These large, beefsteak-type tomatoes are juicy and flavorful, consistently ranking among the best-tasting tomato varieties.
Cherokee Purple Tomatoes grow on large, vining, indeterminate tomato plants that require a tall vertical tomato stake and/or a heavy-duty tomato cage. This variety is a North American heirloom cultivar originally grown by the Cherokee people in the area of Eastern Tennessee.
2. Black Krim tomatoes
The Black Krim Tomato is another very popular purple tomato variety known for its deeply complex flavor and dark peel coloring. These purple tomatoes have a dark red-green-brown peel and a tart, smoky flavor.
Black Krim tomatoes grow on long-vining indeterminate tomato plants. Black Krim is an old heirloom tomato variety likely originating from the town of Krymsk in Eastern Europe.
3. Indigo Rose tomato
The Indigo Rose Tomato is a new cherry-type tomato variety with a dark purple peel. Each tomato weighs about 2 ounces and has a red background color with a purple-brown blush. Indigo Rose tomatoes have a balanced sweet-tart flavor.
The plants are disease-resistant and semi-determinate, with vines growing about 5′ long. The Indigo Rose Tomato was developed by Professor Jim Myers at Oregon State University.
4. Purple Boy tomato
The Purple Boy Tomato is a hybrid tomato with a flavor similar to Cherokee Purple. This variety was bred for improved disease resistance and heat tolerance for more vigorous, longer-lasting plants. Purple Boy tomatoes grow on long, indeterminate vining plants. Fruits tend to be more uniform than Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes.
5. Purple Calabash tomato
The Purple Calabash Tomato is a large, irregularly shaped, heirloom beefsteak tomato. The flavor is complex and acidic, with a richness characteristic of heritage tomato varieties. This tomato is delicious when eaten fresh but also makes fantastic pasta and tomato sauce. Plants are large and indeterminate, requiring stakes and a heavy-duty tomato cage.
6. Purple Bumble Bee tomato
The Purple Bumble Bee Tomato is a cherry-type purple tomato variety with a striped peel. The fruits grow in small clusters and have an excellent sweet flavor. Plants are indeterminate, open-pollinated, and very vigorous.
7. Carbon tomato
The Carbon Tomato is an heirloom purple tomato that’s quickly rising to the top of many tomato lovers’ lists of favorite tomatoes. These big, beefsteak-type tomatoes have a red-black peel, creamy texture, and a rich, complex, balanced flavor.
The fruits resist cracking and cat-facing more than some other large purple tomato varieties. The tomatoes are similar to Cherokee Purple but often grow a bit larger.
Carbon tomatoes grow on vining, indeterminate plants that require support. Carbon tomatoes were introduced by George Weiss of North Babylon, NY, via the Seed Savers 1998 Yearbook.
8. Black Cherry tomato
The Black Cherry Tomato is a cherry-type purple-brown cultivar known for the complex, sweet flavor of its small fruits. The indeterminate plants are disease-resistant and produce clusters of fruit all season long. These prolific plants are open-pollinated.
9. Chef’s Choice black tomato
The Chef’s Choice Black Tomato is a large, beefsteak-type hybrid tomato with a dark green/brown/black peel. These tomatoes have a meaty texture and good flavor. The disease-resistant plants are indeterminate but don’t get as long as some heirloom plants. The Chef’s Choice Black Tomato was named an All-American Selections cultivar in 2019.
10. Black Zebra cherry tomato
The Black Zebra Cherry Tomato is a small, striped, purple tomato variety. This new hybrid tomato grows on indeterminate plants that are very vigorous. These tomatoes have dark red-purple coloring with green vertical stripes. The flavor is complex, with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. Each tomato weighs about 3-4 ounces.
11. Chocolate cherry tomato
The Chocolate Cherry Tomato is a cherry-type tomato with sweet, delicious fruits. The tomatoes grow in clusters on long, indeterminate vines. This variety is more resistant to cracking than some other purple cherry tomato types.
12. Paul Robeson tomato
The Paul Robeson Tomato is a gourmet red-purple large beefsteak-type tomato with a complex gourmet flavor. This tomato is known for its distinctive taste that perfectly balances its deep sweetness with bright acidity. This tomato variety is from Russia and is named after American singer, lawyer, and football player Paul Robeson.
13. Black Beauty tomato
The Black Beauty Tomato is perhaps the darkest purple tomato available. These open-pollinated globe-type tomatoes have a similar color to the popular Indigo Rose Tomatoes. Even the inside flesh of this tomato has a darker color than most tomatoes. The flavor is excellent, with a juicy, rich texture.
14. Rosella tomato
The Rosella Tomato is a purple cherry-type tomato. These tiny little tomatoes grow in clusters and are perfect for enjoying fresh or for use in cooking. The flavor is nicely balanced in terms of sweetness and acidity. Rosella Tomatoes were bred by Gourmet Genetics, a company known for excellence in developing flavorful tomatoes.
15. Brad’s Black Heart tomato
The Brad’s Black Heart Tomato is a purple oxheart-type tomato cultivar. These tomatoes have dense, meaty, smooth flesh and the classic richness of old-fashioned tomatoes. Plants are large and indeterminate, requiring support. Brad’s Black Heart Tomato was bred at Wild Boar Farms.
16. Midnight Snack tomato
The Midnight Snack Tomato is a cherry-type hybrid tomato variety that develops a gorgeous dark purple/indigo color. These flavorful tomatoes grow all season long on indeterminate plants. Midnight Snack was named an All-American Selections cultivar in 2017.
17. Black Brandywine tomato
The Black Brandywine Tomato is an heirloom beefsteak-type purple-brown tomato variety. This tomato is known for its excellent flavor and is thought to be a cross of the flavorful Brandywine Tomato and the Beefsteak Tomato (two popular heirloom cultivars. The Black Brandywine tomato is said to have been bred in Westtown, Pennsylvania, in the late 1920s by retired dentist Dr. Harold E. Martin.
18. Cherokee Chocolate tomato
The Cherokee Chocolate Tomato is a darker version of the famous Cherokee Purple tomato. The flesh is smooth and dense with a sweet, juicy flavor. The plants are large and indeterminate, just like the parent Cherokee Purple plants. The Cherokee Chocolate tomato appeared as a natural mutation in a Cherokee Purple plant grown in 1995 by heirloom tomato expert Craig LeHoullier, who introduced both this variety and the Cherokee Purple.
19. Chocolate Pear tomato
The Chocolate Pear Tomato is a cherry-type tomato with irregular green-purple-brown coloring. In good growing conditions, the fruits become elongated and develop a pear shape. These small tomatoes have a rich, old-fashioned, somewhat tart tomato flavor.