Drizzled over a slice of rustic bread with tomatoes and a dash of sea salt, splashed on a summer salad, or poured over ribbons of cured ham…the ways to love olive oil are endless.
Luckily, Spain is the perfect place to celebrate your love for this liquid gold—no matter how you prefer to enjoy it!
Spain produces more than half of the world’s olive oil, and Spaniards alone consume nearly 10 liters (2.5 gallons!) of olive oil per person, per year. In short, olive oil is treasured here, and only the best of the best will do.
So when it comes to where to buy olive oil in Madrid, be sure to head somewhere that knows its stuff. In this guide, we’ll show you exactly where to go and what to look for once you’re there—so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth!
How to Choose the Best Olive Oil in Madrid (Or Anywhere!)
Before you head out to the shop, it’s important to know how to distinguish a high-quality olive oil from a less-than-great one. Here’s our co-founder Lauren with some tips on how to do just that!
To sum it up, here are some key things to keep in mind when you set off to buy olive oil in Madrid.
- The most important words on the bottle are “virgin” or “extra virgin” (virgen or virgen extra in Spanish). These are the only two types of olive oil that are worth using—they provide flavor in addition to health benefits. Plain olive oil has no taste and isn’t nearly as good for you.
- Oils sold in opaque bottles or packaging are your best bet. Light can seriously damage olive oil, and clear bottles unfortunately make that even easier.
- If you are able to see the color of the oil, don’t pay any attention to it. The color of olive oil can vary depending on a number of factors and has no effect on the quality.
- Similarly, don’t worry about choosing an oil labeled as “cold-pressed,” “all natural,” or “unrefined.” In order to earn the prestigious extra virgin status, an olive oil has to check all of those boxes anyway! These words are just there as a marketing gimmick and don’t necessarily mean that that oil is any better than other extra virgin oils.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, here are some of our favorite options for where to buy olive oil in Madrid!
Where to Buy Olive Oil in Madrid
1. Fundación Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero
Wondering where to buy olive oil in Madrid while also supporting local small producers as directly as possible? The FPCO shop is your best bet.
Tucked away in the lively Chueca neighborhood, this store offers a diverse selection of olive oils from around Spain. Stroll in and prepare to be blown away by their selection, which ranges from classic extra virgin varieties to rosemary- and garlic-infused oils.
The best part: You can truly feel good about shopping here. This co-op promotes initiatives such as research grants and training workshops to preserve and promote this beloved part of the Spanish economy.
2. El Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience
When you’re searching for the best olive oil in Madrid, why not tie in a little sightseeing as well?
You can do both at the El Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience. Located on the ninth floor of the El Corte Inglés department store in Plaza Callao, this is the place to dine on gourmet bites from around the world as you enjoy sweeping views of the Madrid skyline.
After you eat your way through the center, check out the vast array of gourmet food products from Spain and beyond. It’s the perfect place to find olive oils from all over the country, as well as other great food souvenirs such as Spanish paprika, cheeses, and jamón ibérico.
3. Oleoteca Gourmet La Chinata
La Chinata is a gem of a store, and a must for olive oil lovers. At each of their several Madrid-area locations, you’ll find locally produced olive oils as well as gourmet food products and even olive oil-infused cosmetics.
They even have their own exclusive name brand olive oil to try in store! Take your pick of flavors such as white truffle and black pepper, or basil. This is the best option for where to buy olive oil in Madrid if you want to take your obsession with Spanish liquid gold to the next level.
4. España en La Mesa
Nestled in the quaint Chamberí neighborhood, this small shop is overflowing with Spanish products that are sure to set any foodie’s heart aflutter. España en La Mesa offers a vast selection of olive oils as well as other renowned Spanish food products. From canned goods to wines and sweets, this store is the place to visit to have a unique and personal shopping experience.
As a bonus, this locally owned gourmet food shop will help you create a basket filled with regionally produced goods to take home with you. While it’s a great option for where to buy olive oil in Madrid, you might just end up leaving with even more delicious finds.
5. Proyecto Los Aires
Perhaps you’re not looking for where to buy olive oil in Madrid—but you do want to dive deeper into this rich ingredient! In that case, we recommend taking a walking tour of the Proyecto Los Aires organic olive grove located just an hour away from Madrid.
Here, you’ll take a deep dive into olive oil production as well as have the opportunity to taste the delicious olive oils produced on this family-owned grove. The space is surrounded by a stark landscape of rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves. Visiting Proyecto Los Aires is a wonderful way to get out of the city and connect with the land that produces so many great foods and wines.
After you become an olive oil expert, be sure to buy a few bottles and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. Sharing is optional.
Spanish Olive Oil FAQs
While the good stuff (read: extra virgin) will always be at a higher price point than normal oils, you can get excellent value for money when buying olive oil here in Spain. It does tend to be cheaper here than abroad due to the simple fact that you’re buying it close to the source, without the need for international transport.
Technically yes, but we don’t recommend it. Extra virgin olive oils are much healthier than plain olive oil and have tons of flavor. Meanwhile, regular olive oil is often called lampante (lamp oil) here in Spain because it was used to light oil lamps centuries ago—not exactly something you want to be ingesting!
Update Notice: This post was originally published on December 4, 2017 and was updated with new text and photos on April 29, 2021.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Madrid? Just add your email address in the form below!
After watching an episode of “Parts Unknown” in which her hero Anthony Bourdain wandered through the magical streets of Granada, Elysse signed up for a semester abroad there and then quickly realized one semester wasn’t enough. She returned to Spain and lived in Madrid for two years to technically teach English but mostly spent her free time traveling throughout the peninsula learning about Spain’s diverse culture (and tapas!). But what she loves most about Spain is the love and appreciation of tradition, history and long lunches with friends and family.