Where to Eat Authentic Cocido Madrileño in Madrid
No trip to Madrid is complete without trying the city’s most emblematic dish, cocido madrileño! There’s nothing that better hits the spot after a day of sightseeing than this hearty stew that will leave you full and satisfied. So if you’re looking for a place to get an authentic taste of cocido madrileño, try any one of these restaurants that serve the best of the best!
What is cocido madrileño?
Cocido is a hearty and filling chickpea stew with assorted vegetables and meats added in. Most agree that this dish goes back to the Middle Ages and sprung from a popular recipe called adafina, which was a part of the cuisine of Sephardic Jews living in Spain. The original recipe was kosher and included eggs, but during the height of the Spanish Inquisition and anti-Semitism in Spain, eggs were swapped out for pork meat and sausages. This recipe stuck and soon became an iconic dish in Madrid’s cuisine. It is low-cost to prepare, hearty, and could easily feed a large family.
Cocido madrileño is a stew that is eaten over several courses, or vuelcos (tippings of the pot). The first course is the broth of the stew, with vermicelli noodles cooked in as well, and is eaten like a soup. The pot is tipped to pour out the broth for the first course, and then a second time to serve up the chickpeas and vegetables. Most commonly the veggies include potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, but some other root vegetables may be used as well. The veggies and chickpeas are eaten off a plate with a spoon or fork. Another tipping results in the meat course. Meats that are featured in cocido madrileño are usually pork belly, jamón serrano, morcilla, chorizo and chicken. As you can see, this dish is not your average soup! You need an appetite to conquer madrileño and its several rounds of servings.
Spaniards eat this dish during their big mid-day meal, usually in the winter time to get through the long, cold days. However, many restaurants serve cocido all year round so that visitors can get a taste any time. Here are some of our top picks for the best cocido in Madrid.
La Bola has been serving up their signature cocido madrileño since 1870, so you know they must be doing something right. They still cook their stew the way that they did back then, using clay pots over an open flame. You can taste the tradition in each delicious bite. Try the specialty-of-the-house fixed menu which includes olives, bread and butter, a serving of cocido, dessert, coffee, wine, and a shot all for around 22€!
Address: Calle de la Bola, 5
Another big name in the cocido game is Malacatín, a Madrid staple since 1893. This is a great place to go if you have a larger group and want to share cocido together, since there is a flat rate of 21€ per diner. Portions are generous so come with an appetite! This restaurant is quite popular but also quite small, so make sure that you call ahead to book a table. Rustic and homey, Malacatín is an authentic dining experience in Madrid.
Address: Calle de la Ruda, 5
Step back in time and enjoy the fantastic cuisine of Lhardy, a favorite in the Spanish capital since 1839. From the moment you walk in you’ll feel the elegance and opulence of the 19th century, as the restaurant appears now much as it did back then. You’ll even have your cocido madrileño served to you on a silver platter! At 36.50€, this restaurant is on the more expensive end but the experience is worth every penny.
Address: Carrera de S. Jerónimo, 8
See more: Where to Try the Best and Most Authentic and Best Paella in Madrid
Taberna de la Daniela
Taberna de la Daniela has four locations across Madrid that serve up cocido and other traditional dishes to the masses. While the menu here has a variety of dishes, most that stop in head straight for the 3-course cocido. This classic tavern is a fun place where a mix of tourists and locals convene to taste the city’s favorite dish.
Address: Calle de Cuchilleros, 9
The heart of Madrid is Plaza Mayor, and that’s exactly where you will find Los Galayos. It’s been here since 1894, and you’ll feel the original, rustic vibe as soon as you enter. While the menu features classics like paella, tortilla de patatas, and a variety of tapas, the cocido is an excellent choice and comes in at 19.80€ per person. It’s a cheaper option but the quality is still unbeatable.
Address: Plaza Mayor, 1
Join Food Lover Tour on any one of our food tours in Madrid to get a classic taste of the city’s best dishes!