9 Best Olive Oils for Cooking, Dipping, and Drizzling

What is the best olive oil? Which olive oil is best for cooking? What is the best olive oil for dipping bread? Ideally, it should all come from the same bottle. The best olive oil is liquid gold in the kitchen, that’s for sure. If you’ve never sat down and tried many, many olive oils side by side, you might not know just how different olive brands can taste. Lucky for you, we did exactly that. And we found the best olive oils to buy—whether you’re looking for the best olive oil for salads, the best olive oil for bread dipping, the best olive oil for cooking, or the best tasting olive oil that can do it all. 

Over the course of two taste tests we tried 25 different olive oils. We sourced everything from grocery store brands (like Trader Joe’s olive oil) to artisanal brands. And we tried to keep them all under $25 a bottle (preferably, way under). You can get some terrific olive oil for $50, sure. But that’s not going to be your everyday olive oil unless you’re a multi-millionaire (in which case, have you considered donating to Sporked?). We conducted our taste tests searching for the best olive oil brands that you will use a lot of and not feel like you’re pouring money into a pan. 

Related: Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Really Better?

When it comes to the best olive oil flavor, there’s a whole spectrum. (That’s why this list features the top ten best olive oils and not just the one best grocery store olive oil.) You can have ultra buttery smooth olive oil, you can have grassy, tannic olive oil, you can have olive oil that really tastes like olives. What we looked for in each oil, regardless of flavor profile, was a robust character—richness, but also acidity and perhaps even a little bit of peppery kick. Anything flavorless didn’t make this list. (That’s what vegetable oil is for.) After sipping olive oil brand after olive oil brand from a spoon and soaking it up with bread, we found ten of the best olive oils around. Check out the best olive oil brands you can buy in the grocery store. 

Note: Our initial ranking included Costco’s Kirkland Signature Val Di Mazara Organic EV Olive Oil, but it no longer appears to be available. If you do happen to see it, buy it! It’s rich with a great bite. 


Best Peppery

Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This olive oil has a lovely, peppery kick. Give it a taste and you’ll see what I’m talking about—there’s an earthy, spiced flavor that’s delicious. For that reason, I think it’s some of the best olive oil to use to finish a dish. If you were to put a little drizzle of this over some, say, pasta, it would add really great extra flavor. Carapelli is a global blend of olive oil using an Italian name (kind of lame), but it’s one of the only global blends whose flavor I actually like. And when it comes down to it, flavor is key when you’re shopping for the best extra virgin olive oil. Also, this is a reasonably sized bottle (not a big ol’ jug), meaning that you’ll use it before it goes bad. Most people agree that once you open olive oil, you should use it within six months. Smaller bottles are great for that reason. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best for Dipping Bread

Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This olive oil’s flavor is so unique that I simply had to dive back in to discern what exactly was happening in my mouth. It tastes the most like actual olives. There’s a briny funkiness that reminds me specifically of jarred black olives. I found it to be intoxicating and unique. When it comes to olive oil, you aren’t really expecting an olive forward taste. Moreso, you are looking for a rich, fruity, mellow quality. But Carlini extra virgin olive oil actually tastes complex and pungent like an olive. I think that’s super unique and impressive. It’s not the best grocery store olive oil because it has such a distinct flavor, but it could be the best olive oil for dipping bread. I’m damn pleased that I discovered this brand. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Smooth

O Organics California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

O Organics continues to surprise me. Whenever the brand pops up during a taste test, there’s a good chance the product will be quality. Naturally, their Californian EVOO is really tasty and one of the best olive oils on the market. It’s smooth and rich and almost buttery in a way, too, and it’s a single source olive oil, which I have found to be superior to others. Unlike Carapelli, this olive oil isn’t peppery and it’s not as acidic as some of the other olive oils on this list, but it is quite rich and fruity. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett/Albertsons

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Heraclea Early Harvest

Best Olive Oil for Salads

Heraclea Early Harvest

Made with Memecik olives grown in the Aegean region of Turkey, this olive oil makes your mouth salivate. It’s bitter in that green almond kind of way, but balances out with round, buttery notes. It’s some of the best olive oil for salads, because it really adds a ton of flavor and complements peppery greens or milky cheese, if you choose to go with a caprese-style salad. It’s also the best olive oil to buy if you want to know intimate details about your olive oil. This “early harvest” bottling was made with olives harvested in October of 2022. Do you know what you were doing in October of 2022? I can’t remember. But I’m glad to know what these olives were doing. It’s also sold in a glass bottle that not only looks great, but it’s also UV-coated so your olive oil won’t be damaged by the sun. Though the bottle usually sells for $32, you can currently buy it for just $16. So, keep your eye out for sales in the future. — Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Heraclea

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Sicilian Selezione Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Best Trader Joe’s Olive Oil

Trader Joe’s Sicilian Selezione Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What is the best olive oil at Trader Joe’s? I tried four, and this one was by far the best tasting olive oil TJ’s sells. It’s bright and zingy with a faint hint of lemon zest—it’s definitely one of the fruitier olive oils on this list. It’s extremely gentle, too, without any bitterness. If your motto is butter not bitter, then this is the best olive oil for you. — Justine Sterling 

Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Best Greek Olive Oil

Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil

There are a lot of olive oils out there, so, chances are, you’ve bought a bottle because of the packaging. A lot of times, that’s a mistake. But in the case of this tall drink of oil, it’s not. The beautiful blue bottle (inspired by, I assume, the blue of the Mediterranean sea) doesn’t just look good, it also contains some of the best Greek olive oil. It also has a built-in spout, which, as an extremely clumsy person, I very much appreciate. The flavor is light, mild, and gentle. It’s buttery like Castelvetrano olives, but finishes with a peppery, grassy flavor. Obviously, this will work well on a Greek salad—the briny, salty feta is a perfect match—but it will also complement foods like grilled veggies, fish, and chicken. — Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Bono Sicilia Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Best Italian Olive Oil

Bono Sicilia Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

I couldn’t get enough of this olive oil during our most recent taste test. It’s so unique. It is extremely complex, with layered flavors. It really takes you on a journey. It starts rich and buttery, then you are hit with a twinge of bitterness, and then it finishes with a salinity that really makes it the best Italian olive oil to put right in the middle of a table. No vinegar or seasonings needed for this olive oil. Just dip your bread right in. It’s delicious on its own, but it would also be great on classic Italian salads like a caprese or panzanella. And it’s also affordable enough that you can cook with it and reap its flavorful benefits without feeling guilty. — Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best California Olive Oil

California Olive Ranch 100% California Extra Virgin Medium Rich & Vibrant

California Olive Ranch olive oil is valuable because you can use it for just about anything. It has a pure olive taste that’s rich, mellow, and balanced with just the right amount of peppery, grassy flavor. As a result, it’s the best olive oil for cooking (at low temperatures—olive oil burns because of its low smoke point), or you can use it as a finishing oil for pastas, salads, and proteins. California Olive Ranch produces a great product made from olives grown right here in California. The flavor is consistently rich, delicate, and delicious. The price is great, too, and it’s available at a variety of stores. That’s why it’s not only the best extra virgin olive oil, but tied with our best olive oil overall. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Graza Drizzle Olive Oil

Best of the Best

Graza Drizzle Olive Oil

I didn’t expect to love this olive oil. The packaging is too cute. It’s too hip. It’s too Brooklyn. It’s too Insta-ready. But it’s so, so, so good. It’s so good that it dethroned our previous number one best olive oil, California Olive Ranch. Made in Jaen, Spain, it’s really light, so it won’t overpower other ingredients, but it still has a pronounced green olive flavor. It’s silky and buttery and just a hint peppery and salty. Plus, it comes in a handy squeeze bottle. I love a squeeze bottle. Though it’s made as a finishing oil, I think it could perform double duty in recipes. That said, the brand also offers Graza Sizzle, which is designed specifically to be the best olive oil for cooking. It is milder and less complex than the Drizzle, which makes sense. It’s good, for sure. But it’s not as impressively flavorful as the Drizzle. You can get a two-pack of both the Drizzle and the Sizzle at a discount from the Graza site. If you use a lot of olive oil, it’s probably the way to go. It’s the best tasting olive oil, so you’ll definitely use it up. And if you don’t, just send it to me. I’ll squirt it right down my gullet. — Justine Sterling   

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other olive oils we tried: Cento, Simply Nature, Bertolli, California Olive Ranch Global Blend, Kirkland Spanish Extra Virgin, Cobram Estate 100% California EVOO, Trader Joe’s Organic Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil, Trader Giotto’s 100% Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Trader Joe’s California EVOO, GAEA Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Good & Gather Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Good & Gather EVOO, Pompeian Drizzle EVOO, La Tourangelle EVOO, Heraclea Mature Harvest


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • If you use olive oil for the longevity effects, it needs to have the spicy, peppery kick. Cheers.

    Reply
  • Doug would be proud, ty for your service

    Reply
  • Would be nice if you’d list prices on these

    Reply
    • that wouldn’t exactly be accurate considering prices vary at different stores and different regions

      Reply
  • Carlini can also be found at Aldi, which I think is really important to add for people who are trying to meet a budget and get a really good product.

    Reply