I first learned about this place while looking for a restaurant that served the famous “cocido Madrileño”. I wanted to taste the real and authentic one and then take my family who were visiting me in Madrid. This traditional restaurant, La Bola, is still run by the same family who opened it back in 1870.
“Cocido” is a typical Spanish meal, originally from Castilla and it is very popular all year long but especially during winter time. In La Bola they have kept the same cooking technique since the restaurant first opened its doors, more than a century ago, and that’s part of what makes it so special. It is a long cooking stew, takes approximately 4 hours at a low rate, and clay pots are used to prepare each portion individually. Of course, other dishes are available as well, but you do not want to come here if you are not having “cocido”.
What I like the most about the place, besides the food, is its traditional atmosphere. It looks like an old tavern, with wooden walls, few tables, and if you look closely enough you may see all the clay pots on display from the kitchen. Group reservations are available and different menus too, even if you are a vegetarian there is a special menu for you at La Bola. I recommend you make reservations in advance and online booking is available through their website. Be aware that no credit cards are accepted.