Our Guide To The Best Olive Oil

Our pick of the best cold-pressed, extra-virgin, cooking and infused olive oils for your kitchen

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by Ellen Kinsey |
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Often hailed as the culinary world's liquid gold, the best olive oil is the most sought-after oil for both cooking and drizzling over salads. While it's a staple in kitchens worldwide, the quality of olive oil can vary, and we are here to walk you through the types of olive oil, the difference between extra virgin and refined olive oil, plus the health benefits of this extraordinary elixir.

From extra virgin to pure olive oil, each has its unique characteristics. While extra virgin olive oil, with its rich flavour, is perfect for dressings and drizzles, refined lighter versions like pure or light olive oil are more suited for cooking, using in a frying pan, and baking. Unrefined, extra-virgin olive oil or cold-pressed is of superior quality as it retains not only all of its strong aromatic properties but also the antioxidants and nutrients often diminished by the high-speed machinery and heat used in modern oil extraction methods.

Best Olive Oil At A Glance:

• Best value olive oil: Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - View Offer on Sainsbury's
• Best olive oil gift: Nicolas Alziari Cuvee Prestige Olive Oil - View Offer at Selfridges
• Best taste: Odysea Greek PDO Kalamata Olive Oil - View Offer at Amazon UK

From the peppery undertones of some variants to the fruity notes of others, there's an olive oil for every palate, but it's not just about taste. Olive oil is packed with health benefits, making it an excellent food to consume daily. A study funded by notable olive oil brand Filippo Berio found that people who consume 20ml or four tablespoons of olive oil in its raw form each day benefit from combatting coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart health. As olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, it's known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve heart health, and even reduce inflammation.

For those looking to level up their culinary ventures or want to include this ancient natural medicine into their daily life, here is the crème de la crème of olive oils in the UK you can buy right now.

Best Olive Oil

Best value olive oil

For those seeking quality without breaking the bank, Filippo Berio's extra-virgin olive oil is a good choice. Its rich hue and peppery undertones make it a household favourite. Ideal for bread dipping, roasted vegetables, or rich pasta sauces, this oil, with over 150 years of legacy, offers a robust taste at an affordable price.

Customer review: "Great product, main brand bought, would definitely recommend."


  • Affordable
  • Reputable brand
  • Good for cooking or dressing


  • Lacks the nuanced palate of premium olive oil options

Best cooking olive oil

This La Espanola olive oil is a great cooking olive oil for everyday cooking endeavours. A blend of refined and extra-virgin oils, it's ideal for frying and baking. Its bottle, designed with a retractable spout and dark green hue, ensures optimal freshness and taste.

Customer review: "This is a very decent olive oil for everyday use. I really like the pourer as it makes it easier to pour only a little bit into a pan and also makes drizzling it evenly over bread etc, easier."


  • Affordable
  • Well-designed bottle
  • Good for cooking and dressings


  • Some may only want to use unrefined olive oil

Best truffle olive oil

Price: $50.37

If you love the taste of truffle, then this is a real treat. You can experience the touch of luxury with the Truffle Hunter's white truffle-infused olive oil. Potent and aromatic, it boasts a unique garlicky aroma with earthy undertones. This oil is a culinary treat perfect for risotto, pasta, and eggs. Also, consider their black and white truffle oil set.

Customer review: "Great for drizzling on top of things for flavour, lots of aroma."


  • Potent flavour
  • Good value for size
  • Adds a luxurious taste to meals


  • The flavour might be divisive

Best organic olive oil

This organic, full-bodied herbaceous olive oil from Odysea has a peppery aftertaste and aromas reminiscent of citrus, fresh-cut grass and tomatoes on the vine. This is a well-balanced oil with medium fruitiness and a light to medium pungency. Ideal for salad dressings, grilled fish, white meat, sauces, pasta and vegetables. Also, the 'kalamata' element refers to the area where the olives are grown, not the type of olive.

Customer review: "I am taking a daily teaspoonful and it is helping my digestion and diet."


  • Made from koroneiki olives
  • Organic
  • High quality


  • Not suitable for cooking

Best lemon infused olive oil

Belazu Lemon Oil 250 ml
Price: $59.80

Belazu's lemon-infused oil is a fragrant blend of Mediterranean olives and Gargano National Park lemons. It's a zesty addition to any dish, ideal for grilled fish, roasted vegetables, or even a lemon drizzle cake.

Customer review: "Easiest salad dressing ever, great on cooked vegetables, fish, risotto."


  • Tasty flavour infusion
  • Versatile
  • Can be used for sweet bakes


  • Not recommended for cooking

Best garlic infused olive oil

A delicate extra virgin olive oil infused with garlic to impart a full-bodied, fresh flavour is an excellent option for those sensitive to garlic or who follow a low-FODMAP diet. The extra virgin olive oil has a smooth, mellow garlic flavour, sweet finish, and distinctive garlic aroma.

Customer review: " I loved this oil as I can't eat the garlic, so it flavours my food wonderfully!"


  • Good for low FODMAP diets
  • Adds garlic notes to meals such as meats, pizza and more


  • Some may find garlic too strong

Best for a subtle fruitiness

From the renowned Oro Bailen, this arbequina olive oil is subtly delightful. With a hint of pepper and a smooth finish, it's perfect for those seeking a gentle touch to their dishes. The multi-award-winning olive oil is an excellent choice for olive oil connoisseurs.

Customer review: "I think this is the best olive oil I have tasted: beautifully smooth and full of flavour, but with a slight pepperiness to it. Marvellous for salads, bread, or just drinking from a spoon!"


  • Award-winning
  • Balanced flavour
  • Subtle fruity tones


  • Not suitable for cooking with

Best olive oil gift

A perfect gift for culinary enthusiasts, this gorgeous olive oil comes in a stunning tin that will wow any foodie. It promises a smooth experience without any bitterness and comes from a blend of olives from France, Italy, and Spain. This oil is both delicate and grassy and makes a great dipping oil or dressing.

Customer review: "This was a repeat order,I enjoyed it so much. I found it a versatile oil."


  • Large bottle
  • Smooth flavour
  • Beautiful packaging for a gift or kitchen decor


  • Might be considered extravagant

Best supermarket brand olive oil

A supermarket favourite, this olive oil from Waitrose is top quality. Originating from the Trapanesi Valleys in Sicily, this oil is rich and velvety. It's a luxurious addition to any kitchen arsenal with a creamy texture, notes of tomato and green apple, and a spicy, peppery finish.

Customer review: "I bought this as a present for someone who loves to dress his salads with good quality Olive Oil. He said it was delicious."


  • Best supermarket olive oil
  • Artisanal quality
  • Peppery finish


  • In a tin, not a glass bottle

Best bulk olive oil

This authentic Greek olive oil from Odysea is produced with polyphenol-rich Koroneiki olives. Housed in a three-litre tin, its vibrant and fruity palate, this is a fantastic olive to keep in your kitchen to ensure you are well stocked.

Customer review: "Great quality. It's worth the money."


  • Bulk option
  • Full-bodied 
  • Smooth texture


  • Comes in a tin - which you can relocate to glass bottles

Best infused olive oil set

Infused with fresh lemon, basil, and mandarin, this set of oils from Danilo Manco is a culinary delight. Perfect for a variety of dishes, from seafood to salads, these cold-pressed oils make a great artisanal gift or perfect for upgrading dishes from salads, starters and pasta.


  • Variety pack
  • Natural ingredients
  • Artisanal quality


  • Not suitable for cooking

Our Verdict

Filippo Berio's Extra-Virgin Olive Oil stands out as a winner in terms of affordability and accessibility. The rich, peppery undertones, combined with its versatility in both cooking and dressing, make it a must-have in every kitchen. In terms of taste, we would choose the Odysea extra virgin olive oil. This is a great pick whether dipping fresh bread, enhancing a gourmet dish, or cooking on medium heat.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Olive Oil

Navigating the world of olive oils can be confusing with so many options available. Here are some key considerations to think of:

Type of olive oil: From extra-virgin to light olive oil, each type offers a unique flavour profile and usage. Extra-virgin is unrefined and boasts a robust flavour, making it ideal for dressings, while light olive oil is more suited for cooking.

Extra-virgin: Also seen as EVOO extracted through the cold-pressing technique, it ensures the olives remain under a temperate 27°C, preserving their rich flavour and antioxidant treasures. However, take note as the industry is not regulated, there is a quality spectrum. The best EVOO oils are commonly used for salad dressings and drizzling over finished dishes.

Refined olive oil: Typically derived from mature black olives, undergoes heat treatment. This process might strip away some of its vibrant flavours and antioxidants, but it gifts the oil with resilience, making it good for chefs for cooking and frying. Its low acidity ensures the flavours remain intact, even when things get sizzling.

Infused olive oils: These oils could be made from refined and extra-virgin, and are infused with aromatics like garlic, chilli, or luxurious truffle. While they aren't great for frying pan, they're great at finishing touches, adding a burst of flavour to soups, pastas, and more.

Origin: The region or country of origin can influence the taste and quality of the oil. For instance, Italian olive oils tend to be fruitier, while Spanish variants might have a nuttier profile.

Bottle: Consider how frequently you'll use the oil. A larger bottle might offer better value, but ensure it's stored correctly. Dark glass bottles or tins protect the oil from light, preserving its quality.

Flavour: Whether you prefer a peppery kick or a subtle fruitiness, understanding the flavour notes will help you select an oil that complements your dishes.

Certifications: Look for certifications like PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or organic labels, which can indicate a higher production standard.

A human hand dips bread in different types of flavored extra virgin olive oils from Apulia, Italy.


What are the health benefits of olive oil?

Olive oil has so many fantastic health benefits. Rich in monounsaturated fats, it improves heart health, reduces inflammation, and lowers the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, it's packed with antioxidants that combat oxidative stress.

Why is olive oil in a glass bottle better?

Glass bottles, especially those that are tinted, protect olive oil from light exposure. Light can degrade the quality of the oil, affecting its flavour and nutritional value. Glass also doesn't react with the oil, ensuring that the taste remains unaltered.

How should I store my olive oil?

Store your olive oil in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat. This helps preserve its flavour and prolong its shelf life.

Can I use olive oil for frying?

Yes, but using refined or light olive oil for high-heat cooking is advisable. Extra-virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point and is best reserved for dressings or low-heat cooking.

Ellen Kinsey is a Senior Health & Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in sustainable living and healthy cooking. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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