Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils: Top 7 Brands, According To Top Chefs

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is known for its health benefits and its unparalleled flavor profile that can elevate any dish to gourmet status. Dubbed liquid gold by some, culinary experts are always searching for the highest-quality product money can buy. From the rustic groves of Tuscany to the sun-kissed terrains of Spain, the best EVOOs on the market today are a harmonious blend of tradition, innovation, and pure passion for excellence. Which bottles should grace your pantry? We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.

Extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade of olive oil and, unlike regular olive oil, is always cold-pressed and never processed. Its rich, nuanced flavors can range from a buttery and mild flavor to more robust and peppery profiles. The aroma is fresher and may have grassy, fruity, or nutty notes. EVOO is often used for drizzling, salad dressings, and other raw applications so that you can appreciate the rich flavor. It can also be used for cooking, but its smoke point is lower than regular olive oil.

Aside from its decadent taste, studies show extra virgin olive oil can strengthen memory and protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Temple University’s School of Medicine discovered that mice with EVOO-enriched diets had better memories and learning abilities compared to the mice who didn’t consume the oil. Older studies have suggested that the use of EVOO in the Mediterranean diet has anti-inflammatory properties and is very beneficial to heart health.

Going to the grocery store to purchase a bottle of EVOO can be a confusing experience. There are so many different brands, price points, and label descriptions. Then there’s the question of authenticity. How can you be certain that the bottle labeled “extra virgin” truly lives up to its claim? We also tend to buy the biggest bottle of EVOO we can find, but the experts say that once opened, you need to use the oil within three months. To help you take the guesswork out of buying EVOO, we’ve searched high and low for the best brands. As a result of our research, we have the top seven list of the best extra virgin olive oils as rated by top chefs. As always, if you have one you love that isn’t on our list, let us know in the comments below.

olive oil
Olive oil (Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels)

The List: Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils, According to Experts


1. California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is the brand you will find in the kitchens of many professional chefs. “It’s a mild olive oil that is still pleasant-tasting,” Anna Hezel, senior editor at Epicurious told New York Magazine. “She uses it for frying, baking, and drizzling, noting that she’s never had a bad bottle.”

California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

“This EVOO from California Olive Ranch checks all of our boxes for what a versatile pantry staple should be: mild in flavor for ease of use, cost-effective, sturdy, and high-quality,” writes The Spruce Eats. “It’s no wonder that after testing at home and in our lab we crowned it the best of the best.”

Sporked says, “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. That’s why it’s not only the best extra virgin olive oil, but our best olive oil overall.”

These are often called the best squeezable bottles. Food & Wine writes these are “two highly versatile oils that can handle any cooking task in your kitchen.” The Drizzle oil comes from early-season olives, while the Sizzle is from olives harvested later in the season. Thanks to their squeeze bottle format, you don’t have to fumble with a screw top or worry about accidentally adding a quarter-cup more than you meant to.”

Graza "Drizzle" Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Graza “Drizzle” Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The New York Times panelists agreed that the Graza Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which smelled like fresh living tomato plants, was the best all-purpose oil we tested. One taster detected a bright, crisp green apple aroma, noting, “This one is quite fragrant, which makes me excited to taste.”

Graza "Sizzle" Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Graza “Sizzle” Extra Virgin Olive Oil

“Graza Sizzle is a Spanish standout that holds up well to heat and has a pleasant and mild flavor profile that also lets you create aiolis and marinades with a more subtle olive flavor,” says Insider. The website calls it the “Best Cooking” EVOO.

3. Cobram Estate California Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil

“We found it grassy and fresh, with an almost grape-like tannic texture, and a nice round, buttery finish with a hint of pepperiness,” writes Serious Eats. “Complex and fruity, we’d recommend showing this one off as a finishing oil. The harvest date is provided, which is a nice indicator of freshness. We also liked the little pop-up dispenser tip, which made drizzling nice and easy.”

Cobram Estate California Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cobram Estate California Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil

New York Magazine calls this the “Best olive oil for dipping and dressing.” Cook and author Nancy Harmon Jenkins told the magazine, “It’s buttery and grassy at the same time, which is a combo you don’t usually get. It’s complex but also easygoing. Get a nice bread, dip it, add some Maldon salt, and eat that for dinner.”

Cobram Estate has farms in both Australia and the United States. The Daily Meal says, “We know it’s a good brand, in part, because of the many awards that Cobram Estate has received at the New York International Olive Oil Competition.”

4. Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is that big bottle you see in many shopping carts at Costco. “‘Don’t laugh,’ Danielle Oron, author of Food You Love But Different, told New York Magazine, when she mentioned it as one of her favorites. ‘I go through a lot of EVOO. It’s definitely a light-flavored olive oil and balanced — not overpowering or too bitter. I might not use it straight for dipping bread, but I make really punchy salad dressings, and it totally blends into the background. I also make a chile oil where you pour hot oil over chile flakes and scallions, and it sizzles up.’ Plus, at about a quarter for an ounce, it’s the best value buy on this list.”

Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Today believes, “Costco hit a home run with its Kirkland Signature brand olive oil that begs to be bought in bulk. The oversized jugs tasted like they had been directly imported from a small vineyard in Europe with a distinctly rich and full-bodied flavor that, frankly, put a lot of American grocery store finds to shame.”

According to The Daily Meal, “Holding a bottle of Kirkland Signature 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil, @FlavCity calls the Costco-brand product ‘one of the cleanest on the market.’ He dotes on its size and price, which is both less expensive and significantly higher in volume than other good-quality olive oils.”

5. Corto Truly

“There are some olive oils that you absolutely must try, and Corto Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oil falls into that category,” writes Tasting Table. “It’s 100% organic and made with a blend of Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives, each of which originates from Spain and Greece respectively. Mature arbequina olives taste similar to fruit oatmeal, carrying notes of apple, sweet almond, and artichoke.”

Corto Truly EVOO
Corto Truly EVOO

This is a well respected EVOO in the food industry. “I love the texture Corto’s oil gives when you make pasta,” Chef Silvia Barban told Food & Wine. “Pastry Chef Holly Gale praises it for its flavor, which she says goes well with dark chocolate.”

“Besides being a great olive oil in general, Corto Truly comes packaged in a well-designed 3-liter box that prevents its contents from oxidation,” according to Insider.

6. Pineapple Collaborative Olive Oil Set

This EVOO comes in unique white, salmon, and mustard colored tins that you can use to decorate your kitchen counter. According to Food & Wine,”Pineapple Collaborative is a company that sparks joy: Even the name is fun. The olive oil is good stuff, too. Made from Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives, it’s a ‘use on everything and don’t stress about it’ blend that you’ll reach for every time you cook. We also like this set for its aesthetics.”

Pineapple Collaborative The Olive Oil Set

Pineapple Collaborative The Olive Oil Set ( Eats says, “The flavor was quite mellow, maybe even a little floral on the finish, with a very round, buttery note. There was a slight burn on the swallow, but overall, it was quite mild. This would be a nice oil for both cooking and finishing.”

“The Olive Oil is bright, ultra-smooth, and tastes delicious drizzled on salads, doused on roasted vegetables, or used for simply dipping a hunk of sourdough,” states USA Today. “Plus, once the tin is empty you can rinse it out and reuse it as a vase for a few flower stems.”

7. Fat Gold

Serious Eats tried two different EVOOs from this small producer: Fat Gold Standard and Fat Gold Blue. According to the website, “Standard was grassy, fresh, and bitter up front with a meaty, lingering olive-y flavor on the tongue. Fat Gold Blue was fruity and floral, with an almost melon-like taste and bitter, spicy finish. Both were nuanced, fresh, and lively.”

Fat Gold California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fat Gold California Extra Virgin Olive Oil (
According to New York Magazine, “Every order comes with a zine with tasting notes and details on how that bottle was produced — anything from the subtleties of the olive varietal to the science of how it was grown and harvested — as well as recipes and sometimes even literary pairings.”
USA Today writes, “The flavor profile of Fat Gold’s olive oil varies by harvest and blend—I tasted the 2019 harvest of their flagship blend. It was bold, peppery, and perfect for pouring over a mound of creamy burrata or garnishing homemade soup.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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  1. The fact that you don’t have anything listed from Hellas, Italy, or Spain means that your list is flawed and is just pushing the wrong olive oil.

  2. Seems the best olive oils should comr in glass or stainless steel containers to minimize plastic/ plasticizer contamination

  3. So essentially all California Olive Oils. What a joke of an article. The best olive oils on the market are Marfuga or Viragi and a host of others. I worked in gourmet and never heard of the oils mentioned. Kirkland good but have you tried Bono? Americans don’t know anything about olive oil.

  4. I recently discovered the Graza EVOO at Trader Joe’s. I like the flavor and aromas and it has a nice price point. My EVOO of choice is Seka Hills in the Capay Valley, located in Northern California. They offer a nice selection of Italian and Spanish varietals. Very flavorful, nice aromas, and they usually do a nice blend each season.

  5. It seems you American guys want to support their country ‘s products. We all know that the best EVOO must be from Italy, it’s origin of olives. The soil is different from USA. also the weather that affects the taste, and the authenticity of process as well. If you want to write about this worldwide, then you should open up your mind and get the information from the outside chef of the world.

  6. An utterly rubbish article, based on relatively low end evoo that sells in the usa.
    Guys try looking a little further afield.
    Try orodeal, from Algarinejo in Andalusia, Spain. It would be a good place to start.

    1. You are too kind using the term “Rubbish.” A totally useless article
      obviously in bed with California growers.
      Suggest trying Desert Miracle from Morocco.

  7. I own ABQ Olive oil company in Albuquerque NM. We get our oils from Veronica food’s in Oakland, California. As far as I am concerned, you listed all the poor olive oils you can buy in a grocery store which are mainly inferior oils. We have only the best from around the world. We also list the chemistry of the oils, not only the date of crush, but the polyphenols, oleic acid. Free fatty acids, etc. The important thing you need to know about the oil you buy. You mentioned none of that information in your so called study. It is all misinformation which these sites are famous for.

  8. Lol not even close. Try “primo” from Frantoio Cutrera and let me know. I guess the voting chefs didn’t know much about EVO

Comments are closed.