Nothing says summer like a bright red juicy tomato. And when it comes to United States tomato production, several states battle it out over this juicy red fruit, each claiming they grow the tastiest tomatoes.

Tomatoes grown in Grainger County, Tennessee, for example, are famous for their quality, which extension agent Anthony Carver attributes to the acidic limestone-based soil in northeast Tennessee. The acid in the soil gives the tomatoes their “bite.”

“Tennessee is the sixth leading [fresh-market] tomato producer in the nation, and Grainger County leads the state in tomato production,” Carver says. “We have over 500 acres of tomatoes and over 500 greenhouses dedicated to tomato production.”

Read More: Florida’s tomato industry is planting the seeds of safety.


However, it’s California that ranks first in United States tomato production for both fresh-market tomatoes and tomatoes for processing (turned into juice, sauce, paste, salsa, etc.), according to the USDA. Here’s the list of top tomato-growing states for fresh-market tomatoes in 2018:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Indiana
  4. Ohio
  5. Michigan
  6. Tennessee
  7. South Carolina
  8. New Jersey
  9. North Carolina
  10. Virginia

Read More: Arkansas tomatoes are ripe for the pickin’.

Is your garden overflowing with fresh tomatoes this summer? Put them to good use with some of our favorite summertime tomato recipes below:

Yellow Tomato Gazpachoyellow tomato gazpacho

Grilled Tomato Basil Pizza

grilled tomato basil pizza

Shakshuka (Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)


See Also:  The Alternative Product Labeling Battle


  1. Traveled all over the U.S. Northern OH and all CT and NJ–the absolute tastiest tomatoes in the country. FL tomatoes taste like cardboard. YUK!

  2. I want to open tomato farm in other countries under the Russia,I have the land for growing a tomatoes ,I have recourses.And I am looking for partner for cooperation

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  4. I’ve never been anywhere where tomatoes taste better and juicier and bigger than in Southern New Jersey. California and Florida tomatoes are hard covered with little taste to them. Unfortunately, NJ doesn’t produce as many due to the huge expense of land. They went through a period where many of the farmlands were cut up for housing needs. Then the big conglomerates came in with their chemicals.

  5. Ohio River ((Wheeling to South point Ohio)tomatoes are in the largest demand. Commercial or home grown the naturally enriched lime stone soil is the key.

  6. Umm, California? Are you out of your MIND? New Jersey grows the BEST Tomatoes on the planet EARTH! Period.

  7. NJ tomatoes are overrated. Lived there my whole life up until 4 years ago and was mostly disappointed with my crop. Every now and again I’d get a good crop. Been living in middle TN since and my tomato crop has been much better than my last 3 or4 years in Jersey. Tomatoes are tasty as well

  8. People in New Jersey brag about their tomatoes, butifyou ask most of them, they’ve never tasted tomatoes from anywhere else! Lol….Homegrown tomatoes will ALWAYS taste better than hothouse. That has nothing to do with what state they’re grown in.

  9. Cheri Bovell I agree with you 100% homegrown hands down will beat a hot house gassed store bought tomato any day any month any year any time!!! Any tomato I have purchased in last few years is nasty, mushy, tasteless and been gassed so much that when you cut into it the seeds still green yet starting to sprout. Walmart is the worst for that. Does it really hold a barring which state has the best as long as you yourself are happy with it?

  10. First, to John Barreiro:
    NJ got the nickname of the garden state from one of their 1800s atty. gens. as a PR ploy. No facts, just fluff.

    Second, Cheri Bovell said it very well, regarding NJ tomatoes. Every dig on CA tomatoes centers around store bought sampling. Pretty sure there’s crappy NJ tomatoes in their stores, too.
    In CA, the home grown tomatoes are phenomenal. There are also tons of pick-your-own areas which I am sure rivals or are superior to NJ. There are also plenty of tomatoes in the store in CA which are still on the vine when you buy them.
    NJ is a strange and quirky little state where they really believe everything they have is better than the rest of the US. Take pizza, for example.
    Please Just stop. LOL


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