As a very underrated European city, Madrid presents many hidden gems of dining/drinking establishments. I recommend everyone visit this city. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if you're in Madrid for a short time I would say you must go to these places. (The Spanish locations could not be found on maps so they are not included.)
  1. Sidrería Casa Parrondo
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    In this authentic Sidrería Austuriana, you'll be greeted with the incredible warmth, booming voices, and giant smiles of the Parrondo family. DON'T order any food, as you'll be wasting your money. You eat standing up around the bar and when you ask for anything to drink they'll start bringing out plate after plate of chorizo, croquetas, empanadas, paella, and much more. You must get the house-made sider. Their generosity will overwhelm you and it's impossible to leave not entirely blown away.
  2. Sala de Despiece
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    Best modern gastronomic experience in Madrid and another place where you stand up to eat. It's a little hole in the wall but when you step inside it's a luminous pocket of vibrancy completely packed to the brim only with Spaniards eating unique and extraordinary plates. I recommend the burrata, the meat, and the flan. Paul the waiter can tell you what is good and fresh that day. They prepare most of the food in front of you, sometimes utilizing blow torches.
  3. Thousand Cups
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    A coffee shop (bar) that can best be described as Seattle-meets-Spain. It is a steward of the blossoming high-end coffee scene in Madrid, but in all the right ways. It was the best coffee I had in Madrid. Juan, Diego, Enrique, and the whole bunch moved to Madrid from Ecuador to persuade their dream and it has been a huge success. Ask Diego to make you a mojito and you will forever be his friend.