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Eat a "cocido madrileño":

You can't leave Madrid without having tried the famous "Cocido Madrileño" (traditional chickpea-based stew). Since it's a stew, it's best to eat at midday. The best place in Madrid for Cocido Madrileño is La Bola (Calle Bola 5, Metro: Santo Domingo L2), a century-old establishment with lots of character (for this reason, you'll have to take the attitude of the waiters with a grain of salt). The stew (19€) is served in the traditional style and can be eaten as a main course. First they bring you a plate with noodles and pour the broth, which comes in a clay pitcher, over them. As a second course, they bring out the chickpeas, meat, bacon and vegetables that were used to make the previously served broth. The typical thing is to eat the soup with noodles first, adding chillies and chives. Tomato sauce (served separately) accompanies the chickpeas with meat. Some people (us, for example) prefer to mix the chickpeas and meat into the broth with noodles and eat everything together, which is truly delicious.

If you prefer to share the "cocido" and complement it with a plate if meat, we recommend the oven-roasted suckling lamb (22€), which melts in your mouth! Or, if you're in the mood for rice, order " arroz de cocido". This way you'll be able to taste the stew and enjoy a delicious rice dish at the same time.

If it's a weekday you won't need a reservation, but on the weekend reservations are a must. Send an email to or even better call 915 476 930. Bring cash because they don't take credit cards!

Metro Santo Domingo (L2). It's an easy walk from the centre.