Ingredient Intelligence

All About Small Tomatoes: 10 Cherry and Grape Varieties to Know

published Jul 24, 2022
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cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes side by side
Credit: Photo Left to Right: nadianb/Shutterstock; Michelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock

Small, sweet, and bursting with juicy tomato flavor, snacking tomatoes are ideal for eating out of hand — a simple summer pleasure that leaves no paper trail. They’re also wonderful cooked, in a recipe like roasted tomatoes. Whether they’re the sweeter cherry tomatoes or the meatier, milder grape tomatoes, small tomatoes are popping off the vine right now, so let’s take a look at a few of our favorite varieties.

Credit: nadianb/Shutterstock

What Are Cherry Tomatoes?

Cherry tomatoes are small — usually 1 to 2 inches in diameter — with thin, snappy skins and a round shape that can be as tiny as a currant and as large as a golf ball. They tend to burst with seeds and juice upon biting (which is why it’s a good idea to halve them for salads).

Credit: Michelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock

What Are Grape Tomatoes?

Grape tomatoes are oblong in shape with a denser interior than their cherry cousins. In terms of flavor and texture, grape tomatoes are to cherry tomatoes what Roma tomatoes are to beefsteaks.

10 Cherry and Grape Tomatoes to Try

Sungold: Sweet as candy, the no-pun-intended gold standard of cherry tomatoes are treasured for their sugary bite.

Tiny Tim: Perfect for growing indoors, petite cherry tomatoes in a beautiful blush red with a nice tanginess.

Brad’s Atomic Grape: A riot of purple, green, and yellow in an oblong shape, these eat like a stick of Fruit Stripes gum, shockingly sweet and juicy.

Green Envy: These meaty green wonders hold up nicely on kebabs, where they bring a pop of juiciness to the party.

Rapunzel: Sweet, bright tomatoes that cascade from their vine like their namesake’s tresses; halve them for pasta salads or eat them out of hand.

Sweetie: Aptly named, these 1-inch wonders are all sugar (technically 12 to 14%). These are easy to find in the grocery store and make frequent appearances in my kids’ lunch boxes. 

Yellow Pear: A beautiful, egg yolk-colored tomato in a distinct pear shape, these visually stunning, low-acid tomatoes are refreshing and mild.

Honeycomb: Even sweeter than a sungold, these round orange tomatoes have a characteristic honey flavor that pairs beautifully with chevre. 

Lucky Tiger: Oblong green tomatoes speckled with red and yellow, these are lovely snackers that bring a pop of color to caprese salads.

Cherry and Grape Tomato Recipes

If you’re ready to take these tomatoes beyond snacktime, keep it simple. Add them to salads, kebabs, and pasta dishes, and they’ll reward you with tangy, umami flavor and hints of sweetness. Try them in one of these recipes.