Best Olive Oils at Every Price Point (2021)

We tasted over 100 extra-virgin olive oils from all over the world.
The best olive oils lined up.
Photo by Joseph De Leo

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

In our ambitious quest to find the best olive oils, we tested more than 100 bottles over a two-week period. The good news? We found plenty of olive oils we loved at every price level. The bad news? We also found bottles we really really didn’t like too.

The particularly upsetting part is that even the bottles we did like upon first taste were no longer as vibrant when we tasted them again, one week later. That’s why we suggest buying a reasonably priced (whatever that means to you) extra-virgin olive oil from the most recent harvest, storing it smartly, and using it with abandon every morning, noon, and night. Get through it while it’s still fresh!

In fact, several of our Test Kitchen editors admit to only keeping one bottle of olive oil in their kitchens for cooking, baking, dressing salads, and adding a finishing drizzle to dishes that need it. If you, too, are that type of cook, you’ll be set with the highest scoring olive oil in our roundup: Monini GranFruttato Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

But, like I said, we picked a few other top contenders. For our methodology and the full list of oils we tasted, scroll to the bottom. But first: our picks for the best olive oils of 2021.

Best olive oil overall: Monini GranFrutatto

This top-scoring Italian blend is balanced with a lingering peppery bite. Senior editor Maggie Hoffman found it grassy with sage-like undertones. It also tastes, unmistakably, of olives (which, funny enough, you can’t say for every brand).

One thing that may contribute to this bottle retaining its freshness and vibrancy is that the manufacturer has installed a “pop-up pourer” underneath the cap, which limits the amount of oxygen that can get in. (Remember: Oxygen, heat, and light can all turn a good oil bad.) Use this bottle in any and all olive oil applications.

Monini Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Best budget-friendly olive oil: Colavita Italian Blend

We found this Italian olive oil floral with a nice aroma and a touch of peppery flavor. While some bottles in this category were insipid or watery, this hits the middle of the mark in terms of pungency (that is to say, it’s neither a mild flavor nor an extremely robust flavor—it fell into a happy place in between). Tasters also noted flavors of bitter almond, green pepper, marjoram, and citrus.

Colavita Premium Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

We also liked Merula Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. For a milder option around $20, go for this Spanish blend. Commerce editor Emily Johnson found it to have a soft herbal flavor reminiscent of sage or oregano. The delicate flavor would play well in both sweet and savory bakes or in cooking something like scrambled eggs, where a hint of olive oil is nice, but a bold oil may be overpowering.

Merula Extra Virgin Olive Oil

California Olive Ranch Everyday also stood out among the pack. Although California Olive Ranch has faced a bit of backlash following its transition from 100-percent California-grown olive oil to its Destinations Series, which sources from varied olive oil ports to cope with variations in the harvest due to climate change, we found that we still liked this Test Kitchen standby. It’s mild, nutty, and rich. And even if isn’t the most exciting and vibrant oil on the roster, we’d still use it for cooking every day.

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Best midrange olive oil: Monini D.O.P. Umbria

This oil has a distinct savoriness—almost like rosemary—that would make it play well with something sweet. Emily called out an underlying “creaminess” that made her want to pair it with an orange-loaded salad. Of course, we’d also be happy to drizzle it over a meat and cheese platter, garnish a bowl of winter-squash soup, or bake it into a quick and delicious apple cake.

Monini D.O.P. Umbria Olive Oil

Best high-end olive oil (bold and fruity): Calivirgin Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

If you’re looking for a fresh olive oil that’s bold and bracing, balanced by a fruity flavor, here’s your bottle. The unfortunately named Calivirgin had an intense, spicy finish, offering a sweet fruitiness alongside vibrant grassy, almondy flavors.

Calivirgin Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

We also liked Olive Oil Jones: Siena Tuscany. For a milder, buttery option, pick up a bottle of Olive Oil Jones’s Tuscan blend. While it still boasts a peppery back note, up front it’s all lush almonds and apricots with an herbal whisper.

Olive Oil Jones Siena Tuscan Early Harvest Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Best olive oil splurge (grassy and tannic): Brightland Alive

Instead of spring grass, this Instagram star has an essence of grass clippings and wet leaves. It tastes stemmy and woody, its warmth and spice paired with unabashed bitterness and a tannic quality. This isn’t the oil for everyone, but several of our tasters adored it.

What we were looking for in the olive oils

We set out to find the best extra-virgin olive you could buy in a large cross section of America’s grocery stores, plus a few that could easily be purchased online.

Since olive oil is best used quickly, most of our editors (myself included) tend to just keep one bottle around. So instead of focusing on two bottles being the “best for cooking” or the “best for finishing,” we focused on finding the most crowd-pleasing bottles in an assortment of price ranges. Because, honestly, we can tell you what we think is best, but you’re gonna do what you want with it as soon as you get it home.

Calling one bottle “the best” is also a tricky business. As with any crop that fluctuates from year to year, the taste of olive oil changes from year to year. And, just as different varieties of grapes produce differently flavored wines, different varieties of olives produce differently flavored oils, and everyone’s preferences are different.

After scouring Internet best-of lists and digging through the highest-rated oils on popular buying sites, we gathered blends and single-varietal oils from around the world.

You’ll notice that we selected only extra-virgin olive oils, as opposed to straight olive oil or light olive oil. The reason for this is simple: Bottles labeled extra-virgin olive oil (a.k.a. EVOO) are the purest form of olive oil. It’s made entirely of natural cold-pressed olives. A light or regular olive oil, on the other hand, will include processed oils as well. Those additional processed oils yield an olive oil that lacks the tell-tale flavor and aroma of an EVOO.

How we tested the olive oils

A group of Epicurious editors and staff sampled the olive oils over a two-week period in a blind olive oil tasting. All oils were opened just before they were poured into unmarked containers. Oils were tasted first in groups according to price range. We sipped the oils plain, then dipped baby romaine lettuce leaves and bread cubes in the oils to see how they fared as a drizzling oil, and tasted them with thin slices of green apple and grapes to test the oils’ partnership with acidity.

We then tasted our top 20 olive oils (the top three to five in each price range) in a second blind tasting, where the oils were again unmarked and arranged in random order. For all tastings, editors were asked to sample the oils in a random order to avoid issues of palate fatigue.

Glug, glug, glug, glug, glug.

Photo by Joseph De Leo

Other olive oils we tasted

In our tireless quest to find the best extra-virgin olive oils, we scoured the internet for best-of lists and dug through the highest-rated oils on popular buying sites. We gathered blends and single-varietal oils from around the world and sourced oils only from the previous year’s harvest. Whenever shopping for high-quality olive oils, choose oils from the current or previous year. The harvest date can be found on the label of most bottles if you look closely. Here is a comprehensive list of all bottles we sampled along the way.

Budget olive oils:
  1. Origin 846 Unfiltered Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Pompeian Robust Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Carapelli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Terra Delyssa Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  5. 365 Everyday Value Mediterranean Blend Olive Oil
  6. 365 Everyday Value Italian Blend
  7. Amazon Fresh Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Bertolli Rich-Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  9. Bertolli Organic Bold-Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  10. Bertolli Bold-Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  11. Napa Valley Naturals Northern California/Mediterranean Sweet and Fruity Blend
  12. Bertolli Organic Rich-Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  13. Botticelli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  14. Amazon Fresh Mediterranean Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  15. Pompeian Smooth Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  16. 365 Everyday Value California Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  17. Napa Valley Naturals Everyday Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  18. Pompeian 100% Spanish Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  19. Mediterranean Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  20. Pompeian Robust Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  21. Bertolli Organic Smooth-Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  22. Bertolli Northern/Southern Argentina/Italy/Portugal/Spain Smooth Blend
Mid-tier olive oils:
  1. Monini Nocellara Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Colavita Premium Selection Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  3. California Olive Ranch Destination Series Rich and Robust Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Kouzini Greek Premium Raw Unfiltered Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Oilladi Greek Manaki Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  6. DeCecco Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  7. O-Live & Co Everyday Mild & Fruity Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Corto Truly Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  9. Monini Frantoio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  10. Burroughs Family Farms California Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  11. California Olive Ranch Reserve Collection Arbosana Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  12. Colavita Mediterranean Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  13. California Olive Ranch Reserve Collection Arbequina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  14. Monini Family Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  15. Pompeian Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  16. Kouzini Greek Premium Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  17. Wild Groves Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Kitchen Blend
  18. Ozelia Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  19. Kouzini Greek Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  20. Colavita Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  21. Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  22. California Olive Ranch Destination Series Mild & Buttery Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  23. Napa Valley Naturals Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  24. O-Live & Co. Robust Bold & Rich Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  25. Gaea Fresh Special Reserve Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  26. Colavita California Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  27. Botticelli Nocellara Etnea Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  28. Spectrum Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  29. Napa Valley Naturals Private Reserve Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  30. Enzo “Medium” Arbosana Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  31. Thrive Northern Tunisia Blend
  32. Enzo “Bold” Koroneiki Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  33. Terra Creta Estate Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  34. Origin 846 Organic Unfiltered Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  35. Napa Valley Naturals Robust Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  36. Bionaturae Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  37. La Tourangelle Early-Harvest Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  38. Enzo “Delicate” Arbequina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  39. Olive Oil Jones Sierra de Cazorla Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  40. Olive Oil Jones Sicilian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  41. Lodi Olive Oil Company Miller’s Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  42. Henri Mor Private Reserve Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  43. Henri Mor Family Reserve Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  44. Bozzano Olive Ranch Generations Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  45. Thea Koroneiki Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  46. Terra Delyssa Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  47. Wild Groves Ascolano Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  48. Wild Groves Foxy Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  49. Olive Oil Jones Gata-Hurdes Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  50. Olive Oil Jones Catalan Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  51. Kosterina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  52. Crudo Ogliarola Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  53. CastelineS Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  54. Lucini Premium Select Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  55. Organic Roots Arbequina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  56. Morgenster Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  57. Wild Groves Koroneiki Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  58. Thrive Koroneiki Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  59. Sindyanna of Galilee Extra-Peaceful Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  60. Organic Roots Koroneiki Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
High-end olive oils:
  1. Bozzano Olive Ranch Toscana Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Bozzano Olive Ranch Taggiasca Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Titone Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Olive Oil Jones Cabeço das Noguerias Extra-Virgin Oil
  5. Other Brother Grower’s Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  6. Other Brother California Blend Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Top-tier olive oils:
  1. Mary Ruth Organics Ice-Pressed Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Olio Verde Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  3. Fat Gold Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  4. ILA Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Wonder Valley Olive Oil
  6. Oliviers & Co. Monva Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  7. Brightland Awake Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Frescobaldi Laudemio Gold-Edition Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

How to store olive oil

Now that you have a clear picture of the best olive oils on the market, it’s important to make sure you store it properly so that it doesn’t get rancid. Storing olive oil really amounts to keeping the oil dark and cool. Exposure to heat, air, and light causes it to go bad quickly.

If you’re going to transfer the liquid to an olive oil dispenser, opt for one that is solid rather than glass to keep out the light. Glass bottles can be very pretty, but they wreak havoc on the delicate liquid inside. Luckily, there are plenty of equally gorgeous ceramic and metal options to choose from.

And it bears repeating: Use your olive oil with abandon because a good olive oil is not really meant to last more than a few months. So douse it on your veggies, make delicious marinades with it, pair it with fresh lemon or a delicious vinegar for your salad dressing, and use it as a cooking oil whenever you can. With any luck, you’ll go through it before the olive oil quality begins to degrade. 

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.