13 Highest-Quality Olive Oils on Grocery Shelves
Olive oil is a staple when following a Mediterranean Diet, which emulates how people who live by the Mediterranean Sea eat. This diet, which is rich in plant-based proteins, produce, and, of course, olive oil, is linked to a slew of health benefits, including heart health support.
Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, offers a myriad of health benefits, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Rich in monounsaturated fats, it promotes heart health by reducing levels of harmful cholesterol. It is also packed with antioxidants, which help protect the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, some studies suggest olive oil may help regulate blood sugar levels and enhance brain health, potentially reducing the risk of neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease.
When choosing your olive oil, how do you know which to choose?
There are three separate prongs to choosing an olive oil: taste, nutritional density, and agricultural integrity. All three are entwined, however, as a higher-quality taste will inevitably be derived from a more nutritional olive, which was grown in a well-managed grove. There are literal competitions all around the globe that test these qualities in olive oils, such as the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition and the LA EVOO Competition. In our humble opinion, if an olive oil brand had enough faith in their product to even submit their EVOO to these competitions, we think they're worth a try. After all, olive growers are some of the proudest farmers out there, practicing coveted traditions that have been passed down for hundreds of years, even in "newer" markets such as those in California or Australia.
Of course, olive oil is like wine and is all about personal taste preferences (and price points).
It can be complicated to choose one, however, so we consider rotating your options until you find one that's just right for you. Although you may be thinking, "Do I even taste my olive oil when I pan fry or sear?", please believe us that you really do. We've rounded up 13 extra virgin olive oils that have stood out across various options at various price points. You're sure to find something you love, whether you're looking for a more robust olive oil for drizzling over your salad or for a milder, creamier olive oil for sizzling.
The best extra-virgin olive oil brands to buy.
California Olive Ranch Aluminum
If you're looking for the highest quality olive oil at an affordable price point with the best flavor, look no further than California Olive Ranch. The 25-year-old brand has played an integral role in advancing the quality of American olive oil, including supporting the establishment of the Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC), which plays a key role in verifying California olive oil quality through mandatory government sampling and third-party analysis.
You'll notice the California Olive Oil Council Certified Extra Virgin seal on all of California Olive Ranch's 100% California EVOOs, which signifies that the bottle you're holding meets the strictest chemical and sensory standards to be sold as extra virgin.
"This cold-pressed olive oil is versatile in the kitchen and features floral notes, fresh herbs, fruits, and green grass," says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Up Your Veggies: Flexitarian Recipes for the Whole Family. Additionally, you can step up your eco-friendly game as this extra virgin olive oil is "packaged in a fully recyclable aluminum bottle which preserves the freshness of the oil by protecting against light and minimizing oxygen exposure."
Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As olive oil is the base of so much of your cooking, especially if you're following a Mediterranean-influenced diet, you want to make sure that you're consuming only the best. Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oils are renowned for their pure and robust taste as they are made with 100% Koroneiki olives. These olives are harvested early in the season and cold-pressed in southern Greece, so you can rest assured that you're getting the real deal. And perhaps just as equally important, their white bottles look great in any sunny kitchen.
Cobram Estate Classic 100% California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Founded by two farmers who met at an agricultural college, Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oils have won numerous prestigious awards and offer exceeding quality. According to the Estate's website, "Extra Virgin" olive oils must contain an acidity below 0.8%, and Cobram Estate has gone above and beyond, ensuring that their olive oils contain an acidity of 0.3% or less. These olive oils come in a variety of tones, including robust, classic, and mild, and each bottle comes with an easy-pour spout for hassle-free cooking.
Heraclea Early Harvest and Mature Harvest Olive Oils
Did you know that there's an early and a mature harvest for olive oils? The more you know! Haraclea specializes in both varieties, and in their opaque, aesthetically pleasing bottles, they offer two separate options: "early harvest" specifically for dipping, drizzling, and finishing, and a "mature harvest" for roasting, pan frying, baking, and marinating. These two harvests are different in flavor pallets, as early harvests tend to be more peppery and grassy while mature harvests can be described as mild or creamy. Can't choose which? We recommend both to cover all of your cooking needs.
Graza "Drizzle and Sizzle" Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Graza is also well known for its dual harvests, offering options for both drizzling over your favorite salads and breads to pan-frying your favorite fish. What's specifically great about Graza are their squeeze bottles, which are incredibly handy without looking tacky. You can order both their "Drizzle" and "Sizzle" varieties in a dual-pack, and they offer a discounted subscription option if you're a frequent olive oil consumer.
Laconiko Extra Virgin Olive Oil
With 415 premium quality awards under their belt, Laconiko is no stranger to the olive oil connoisseur. What really makes Laconiko stand out is that their olive oils are certified high phenolic. What does that mean? It means that these olive oils come with over 613mg/kg of polyphenols which are, in layman's terms, plant compounds! This olive oil is packed with antioxidants that are necessary to maintain cell integrity and therefore potentially prevent certain cancers from forming.
Filippo Berio's Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Filippo Berio's EVOO is well-known as a USDA-certified organic product with a 50% post-consumer recycled bottle, so it's a great option if you're looking to be a bit more gentle on the planet. Additionally, Filippo Berio's olive oil is "rich in monounsaturated, heart-healthy fats and Vitamin E, an antioxidant. I love to make my own salad dressing at home with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper," says Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES, and dietitian and diabetes educator in Washington, DC. By making your own dressing at home, you'll know exactly what you're consuming.
Lucesca Toscana Ceramic Olive Oil
Lucesca olive oil is really one of a kind. Started by a brother-sister duo, their motto is "fatto in casa" – aka, homemade. And really, this olive oil is homemade as the duo pick the olives from their backyard grove and press them in the family kitchen in Magliano, Tuscana. These cold-pressed olives are pressed the very day that they are harvested, ensuring freshness and quality to all consumers. Lucesca olive oils come in three different packaging options including ceramic, glass, and tin and are each available at different price points.
Lucini Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lucini olive oils are a great everyday option for the casual chef. At a reasonable price point, these delicious batches come in a dark green bottle to prevent rapid oxidation and are non-GMO verified for those who follow these restrictions. "It also has a nice peppery, almost spicy flavor which tends to indicate a high-quality brand," says Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN. She goes on to say, however, "I don't use it for cooking because it's not meant for high heat, but I do use it to make homemade hummus and [to] drizzle on salads." So, if you're looking for a good olive oil to use in dips and drizzles, look no further.
La Tourangelle Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Bright & Peppery
Not all olives are grown in California or Greece – so many other cultures utilize olive oils in their daily cooking! La Tourangelle's Bright & Peppery olive oil utilizes early-harvest Spanish Picual olives from Andalucia, Spain. This peppery blend "is ideal for daily cooking and is appropriate for cooking over medium-high temperatures. Use for sauteing, baking, finishing, and marinades," says Amidor. And with high polyphenols (those antioxidants from before!), you can rest assured that you're consuming olive oil that will pack the heaviest nutritional punch.
365 Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Let's be real, though, we can't all opt for the fanciest or most expensive olive oils. But thanks to Whole Foods, we can still indulge on a budget. At about $12 per bottle, Whole Foods' 365 brand offers a delicious USDA-certified organic extra virgin olive oil option that is great for a variety of different cooking methods. As it comes in a darker glass container, you won't have rapid oxidation and can keep it on your kitchen counter for a while before having to buy a new one.
This duo of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils offers different richness to allow you to customize your dishes: AWAKE is bolder and robust, and ALIVE is smooth and grassy. Both have a high smoke point of 410 degrees, meaning there's no need to shy away from the heat required of certain dishes. Bonus? These California-grown olive oils come in the prettiest bottles, so you don't have to be shy about leaving them on your kitchen countertop for some added decor.
Run by 7th-generation Italian farmers making 100% California EVOO, Corto has some unique attributes that make their oils the freshest you can find. Corto's unique bag-in box (Flavorlock boxes) blocks light, air, and heat to maintain maximum freshness. Just like boxed wine!
Corto's oil is cold-extracted within hours of harvest at Corto's state-of-the-art mill. Orders are shipped on-demand (and only feature perfectly fresh olives where the fruit has just turned from green to violet). This oil is used in top-notch restaurants around the country, like Eleven Eleven in Chicago, Renata in Portland, and Tony's Pizza in San Francisco.