Best Black Tomatoes – Dark And Delicious Varieties To Try

Black tomatoes aren’t exactly black, but they’re dark and full of nutrients not found in regular tomatoes.

Small black tomatoes growing on the vine
(Image credit: Vaivirga / Getty Images)

If you’re a true tomato lover, try growing some black tomatoes. A popular recent entry into tomato growing contests, black tomato varieties range from black cherry tomatoes to black heirloom tomatoes, slicing varieties and hybrids. All of them are delicious.

Want to try your green thumb on a black tomato? In my opinion, here are the 10 best tasting black tomato varieties.

Best-tasting Black Tomato Varieties

Taste is subjective, but I dare anyone to deny that the following black tomatoes are anything but delicious. They’re all absolutely stunning as well. Dark purple, maroon or brown, they look almost black. Their interior hues are varied and may reflect the exterior color or shock you with brilliant green, ruby red or even yellow.

What is certain is the boosted nutrient content of this colorful fruit. Tomatoes in general are rich with a slew of vitamins and minerals, as well as the antioxidant lycopene which is said to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Black tomatoes have higher levels of the antioxidant “anthocyanin” than their red or yellow counterparts, giving them a leg up in the nutrition department.

Black Heirloom Tomatoes

As mentioned above, black tomatoes may be heirloom (open pollinated) or hybrid.

  • Black Sea Man heirloom tomato is a showstopper. From Russia, the plant produces medium-sized fruit, that is dark olive green at the stem end and blush below. Inside, the fruit is a deep reddish green, full-bodied in flavor. A determinate type of tomato, harvest the fruit in about 75 days.
  • Difficult to find but worth the effort is the Black Ethiopian, a prolific plum tomato variety.
  • Pretty, pretty, pretty. Black Krim is a popular black tomato variety and it’s easy to see why. The interior of this fruit is like a living gem, a juicy, succulent ruby color perfect for slicing, cooking or eating fresh in salads.
  • Black Brandywine is a tried and true heirloom that yields large purple/black fruit. The complex flavors of this tomato make it perfect for eating fresh in sandwiches, salads, or in salsa.
  • Described as the darkest of the black tomatoes, Black Beauty is chock full of anthocyanin and so dark the flesh looks navy/black. Its interior flesh is red and with a rich, smooth earthy flavor that improves at room temp.
  • Queen of the Night lives up to its name with an exterior decorated with striations of ebony, crimson and tangerine. Sweet, fragrant fruit on an indeterminate plant with blue-tinged foliage.

Black Hybrid Tomatoes

  • While the Tasmanian Chocolate is on its way to being an open pollinated variety, it started out as a cross between New Big Dwarf and Paul Robeson. I had to mention it since it is a dwarf plant that produces chocolate colored, ruffled fruit; perfect for those with limited space.
  • Chocolate Lightning is a taller growing dwarf that produces chocolate fruit accented with green and gold stripes. The interior flesh is a rich crimson packed with intense flavor.

Black Cherry Tomatoes

  • More purple than black is the Blue Berry tomato which produces ½ inch dark purple cherry tomatoes with the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
  • Black Cherry is a cherry tomato with large, almost iridescent purple/brown fruit from large vines that produce vigorously.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Black Tomatoes OK to Eat?

Black tomatoes are absolutely okay to eat. In fact they are as rich in vitamins and minerals as their red cousins with the added bonus of anthocyanin, an antioxidant, that gives them their deep, dark color. Plus, they taste fantastic – unless your black tomato is the result of mold, in which case, throw it out.

How Do You Know When Black Tomatoes Are Ripe?

Most black tomatoes are not actually black in color. Also, many black tomato varieties turn various shades of red as they mature. So to decide when to pick, know the variety and what they should end up looking like. Color aside, the mature tomato should be the approximate size it’s supposed to be, be firm yet yield to gentle pressure, smell like a tomato, and slip easily from the vine.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.