Top 5 places to listen to Fado in Lisbon

Next time you visit Lisbon, take some extra time to discover the pleasure of listening to the sound of the Portuguese soul live while you taste a pleasant meal. Here are five suggestions of fado houses that you might consider.

Fado is part of the identity of Portugal and is a symbol of the city of Lisbon. In 2011, it was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage, a recognition that we, Portuguese people, are very proud of.

So, when in Lisbon you must definitely discover the joy of listening to the sound of the Portuguese soul, live.

We leave you here five suggestions of places – some more touristic, others more traditional and typical. There are performances with professional singers and amateur fado singers, the so-called fado vadio; different styles, but all singing the Portuguese Saudade, the feeling and the love.

And if you have the opportunity, pass by Madragoa, where you can find the house where Amália Rodrigues lived, the most charismatic of the Portuguese fadistas, who took our Fado to the world. With great presence and natural charisma on the stage is to Amália – the so called Queen of Fado – that we owe the classic image of the black dress with shawl.

mw-860
Photo of Amália in 1954 SILVA NOGUEIRA/MUSEU DO TEATRO

Clube do Fado

Located in the immediate vicinity of the Sé, in the heart of Alfama, Clube de Fado  is more than a restaurant, it is a place where you can taste good delicacies of the Portuguese traditional cuisine, with fado and Portuguese guitar by company. A reference in the universe of the traditional fado houses of Lisbon, with a romantic atmosphere, sober and intimate decoration.

Clube do Fado

Sr. Vinho

Founded in 1975, Sr. Vinho is one of the most well known and traditional fado houses in Lisbon. With three floors and a contemporary decoration, it offers different environments to enjoy the fado, besides the excellent Portuguese gastronomy and an exquisite table service.

sr vinho f

Parreirinha de Alfama

Parreirinha de Alfama is a fado house with a cozy atmosphere where traditional Portuguese cuisine and fado combine perfectly. This is where the voices of Amália Rodrigues, Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Maria da Fé, among many others have already passed.

Parreirinha de alfama

Adega Machado

Located in the Bairro Alto, Adega Machado is one of the best-known fado houses in Lisbon. Distributed over three floors is a place that seeks to cross the traditional with the contemporary, both in fado, as in the gastronomy. If you want to know contemporary interpretations of the Lisbon Fado that plunge into the roots of the urban song, Adega Machado is the right place to go.

Adega_Machado_interiores_D5

O Faia

Founded in 1947, O Faia remains to this day as a reference on Lisbon night. In more than half a century of existence, great names of the fado were habitual presence in this house, starting with the founder, Lucília do Carmo, herself an important figure in the History of Fado and continuing with her son, Carlos do Carmo. Here sang names like Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Fernando Maurício, Ada de Castro, Beatriz da Conceição, Vasco Rafael, Camané, among others. At the table of the O Faia you can discover aromas and flavors in a creative and contemporary cuisine without forgetting the tradition and respect for the Portuguese cuisine.

O faia F

Find out a little more about Fado, music of the world, here.

 

Onde apreciar o Fado em Lisboa

Quando visitar Lisboa aproveite para ouvir ao vivo, o som da alma portuguesa enquanto degusta uma agradável refeição. Aqui ficam cinco sugestões de casas de fado a conhecer.

O fado faz parte da identidade de Portugal e é um símbolo da cidade de Lisboa. Em 2011, foi classificado pela UNESCO como Património da Humanidade, um reconhecimento que muito nos orgulha.

Quando estiver em Lisboa aproveite para ouvir ao vivo, o som da alma portuguesa.

Deixamos aqui cinco sugestões de locais – alguns mais turísticos, outros mais tradicionais e típicos. Há apresentações com fadistas profissionais e com fadistas amadores – o chamado fado vadio – estilos diferentes, mas todos a cantar a Saudade, o Sentimento e o Amor.

Se tiver oportunidade, passe ainda pela Madragoa, onde fica a casa onde viveu Amália Rodrigues, a mais carismática das fadistas e quem levou o nosso fado ao mundo. Com grande presença e carisma natural é a Amália que devemos a imagem clássica do vestido preto com xaile.

Clube do Fado

Situado nas imediações da Sé, no coração de Alfama, o Clube de Fado é mais do que um restaurante, é um local onde se provam boas iguarias da cozinha tradicional, com o fado e a guitarra portuguesa por companhia. Uma referência no universo das tradicionais casas de fado de Lisboa, com um ambiente romântico, decoração sóbria e intimista.

Clube do Fado

Restaurante Sr. Vinho

Fundada em 1975, o Sr. Vinho é uma das casas de fado mais conhecidas e tradicionais de Lis­boa. Com três pisos e uma decoração contemporânea, oferece diferentes ambientes para apreciar o fado, além da excelente gastronomia portuguesa e um requintado serviço de mesa.

sr vinho f

Parreirinha de Alfama

A Parreirinha de Alfama é uma casa de fado de ambiente acolhedor onde a cozinha tradicional portuguesa e o fado combinam na perfeição. Por aqui já passaram as vozes de Amália Rodrigues, Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Maria da Fé, entre muitos outros.

Parreirinha de alfama

Adega Machado

Situada no Bairro Alto, a Adega Machado é uma das casas de fado mais conhecidas de Lisboa. Distribuída por três pisos é um local que pretende cruzar o tradicional com o contemporâneo, tanto no fado, como na gastronomia. Se quiser conhecer interpretações contemporâneas do Fado de Lisboa que mergulham nas raízes da canção urbana, a Adega Machado é o local certo.

Adega_Machado_interiores_D5

O Faia

Fundado em 1947, O Faia mantém-se até aos dias de hoje como uma referência na noite lisboeta.  Em mais de meio século de existência, grandes nomes do fado foram presença habitual nesta casa, a começar pela fundadora, Lucília do Carmo, ela própria uma figura importante na História do Fado e continuando com o seu filho, Carlos do Carmo. Aqui cantaram nomes como Alfredo Marceneiro, Tristão da Silva, Fernando Maurício, Ada de Castro, Beatriz da Conceição, Vasco Rafael, Camané, entre outros. À mesa do Faia podem-se descobrir aromas e sabores numa cozinha criativa e contemporânea sem esquecer a tradição e o respeito pela cozinha portuguesa.

O faia F

 

The rebirth of the Algarve Wines

Next time you are on holidays in the Algarve, instead of drinking, try tasting an Algarve wine – look at it, smell it and finally, taste it. You will probably be savoring a prized wine, appreciated by renowned oenophiles and your senses will love the experience! BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Who has been on holidays in the Algarve probably knows that good quality wines are produced here and has probably, tasted some.

What is probably less known is that the major Algarve towns lend their names to the four main wines regions, the so called DOCs “Demarcated Regions”: Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira – and that the Algarve wine tradition come from ancient times.

logo_dourado
Vinhos do Algarve official website

It is uncertain when the mythical Mediterranean drink – the wine – reached the Algarve.

The first news of contact with wine, revealed by archaeological remains, suggest for more than two thousand years ago, what is comprehensive, considering the nature of the soil and the climate of the south of Portugal.

algarve-wines-guide
Algarve Vineyard

In fact, the importance of the vineyards in this region dates back to the Arab presence in the Algarve, a time when grapes were already grown and wines of good quality were exported.

Recently and for many years, due to several reasons, it seemed however that the Algarve wine would be a tradition to be lost. But, in recent years the trend has been reversed with the appearance of new producers who have given a new breath of fresh air to the Algarve wines.

22
Quinta dos Vales – Estômbar

In 2017, the Algarve wines have won their place among the best in the main international and national competitions, often surpassing the most optimistic expectations, with the region obtaining, for example, in 14 international competitions (such as the International Wine Challenge 2017, Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2017, Mundus Vini Summer Tasting 2017, AWC Vienna 2017, the Wine Masters Challenge 2017, just to name a few), 73 distinctions or medals (gold, silver or bronze) in white, red and rosé wines, from 17 Algarve producers.

3.Jazz-Adegas-Quinta-João-Clara-foto-2
Quinta João Clara – Alcantarilha

The outlook for 2018 is very optimistic with a significant increase of the wine production in the 2017/18 wine year, in values above 50%, which makes the Algarve, the wine growing region that has grown the most in Portugal.

Vineyard on the west coast of Portugal
Casa Santos Lima – Present in 5 Portuguese regions including the Algarve, Tavira

Next time you are on holidays in the Algarve, instead of drinking, try tasting an Algarve wine – look at it, smell it and finally, taste it. You will probably be savoring a prized wine, appreciated by renowned oenophiles and your senses will love the experience!

squid and wine in algarve
This is also the Algarve – delicious food and award winning wines

Here you can see the list of Wines from Algarve awarded in International Competitions in 2017. And the winners are…

Bike my Side wine and tapas tour
Bike my Side prepared an experience where you can taste some awarded wines while touring

 

Terreiro do Paço, a square full of Lisbon memories

Make Praça do Comércio your starting point for discovering Lisbon. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

If you are visiting Lisbon, Praça do Comércio is one of Lisbon’s iconic squares that you must visit.

lisboa

A place full of memories, Praça do Comércio is better known by the locals as Terreiro do Paço, since before the earthquake of 1755, it was where the palace of the portuguese kings for two centuries.

LisboaStoryCentre_02

It is one of the largest squares in Europe and it provides access to several Lisbon attractions such as Pátio da Galé, Cais das Colunas and the modern Lisbon Story Centre – an innovative centre dedicated to the history of the Portuguese capital, featuring state-of-the-art technology – inspired by the wide array of facts and events that have shaped this amazing city.

cais das colunas

From Terreiro do Paço you can easily go to the Arco da Rua Augusta, appreciate the calçada portuguesa and contemplate the Tejo river.

arco

In one of the buildings of the square, is the famous coffee shop Martinho da Arcada, the oldest in Lisbon, and one of Fernando Pessoa’s favorites.

cafe-martinho-da-arcada

The King José I and the horse Gentil statue are the perfect spot to rest and breathe the Lisbon atmosphere.

cavalo

So, next time in Lisbon, remember: make Praça do Comércio your starting point for discovering the city!

Christmas time in Portugal: traditions that last

At Christmas time there is an atmosphere of celebration and the most important moments are those that revive the spirit of communion and sharing between family and friends. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

At Christmas time in Portugal there is an atmosphere of celebration and the most important moments are those that revive the spirit of communion and sharing between family and friends, where being at the dinner table for the “Consoada” is one of the most remarkable moments.

As in other moments of celebration, the food, occupies in Christmas an important place. The delicious typical dishes and sweets for the Christmas night dinner change a little from region to region, from North to South of Portugal, but tend to be more and more similar.

Traditionally, families gather on the December 24th and at the dinner table is eaten cod fish or octopus, served with cooked egg, potato and Portuguese cabbage, although the turkey or the roast rooster and other meat dishes that were savored in the following days already begin to integrate the menus.

bacalhau-cozido-consoada-de-natal

For dessert, there is the Bolo-rei  filled with candied fruit or nuts (“King cake”), “filhoses”, “sonhos” (traditional deep fried sweet pastry sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon) or “rabanadas” (type of French toast), sweet rice and sweet potato pastries, especially in the Algarve.

rabanada

At midnight, a Mass is celebrated, and in the churches as well as in the houses there is a special place for the nativity scene, the recreation of the stable where Jesus Christ was born, an idea of ​​St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, very common in Portugal.

In the Algarve, the preparation of the traditional nativity scene begins on December the 8th, at the Feast of Our Lady of the Conception, where wheat, oats, barley, lentils, corn, and other seeds that are barely germinating will adorn an altar. The oranges, placed in the scene are not only for ornament but also for offering to special friends. Nine days before Christmas, the nativity scene is set up. On top of a dresser, a small throne is placed on a staircase, which imitates the main altar of the church. On the day of Kings, the germinated seeds are transplanted, with votes of good harvests for the coming New Year.

Presepio

In some regions such as in Bragança, Guarda or Castelo Branco, a wood is still burned during the night, in a large bonfire in the churchyard, that serves as a meeting point to gather friends and neighbors and wish a Merry Christmas.

queima do madeiro na aldeia de Sta Margarida

On the 8th of January, the Day of the Kings, the festivities ends with the “Janeiras”. In the street or in national monuments and churches, these traditional songs are heard to wish for a Happy New Year.

natal-portugal

By the way, what are the Christmas traditions of your region?

Vegetarian and vegan travel: follow next year’s travel trend in the Algarve

Do you wish to taste some less traditional cuisine while in holidays in the Algarve? Find in Portimão some great veg-friendly spots and discover how delicious this alternative cuisine can be. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Accordingly to Regis St. Loius, Lonely Planet writer, vegetarian and vegan travel will be one of next year’s travel trends and we could not agree more.

Whether it is for healthy issues, animal or planet concerns, or simply to vary tastes and try new foods and flavours, vegetarian and vegan food is here to stay.

If you are vegan, vegetarian, raw food lover, or simply wish to taste some less traditional cuisine while in holidays in the Algarve, you can find in Portimão, some great veg-friendly spots which are well worth a visit, for the quality of the food and the friendliness of the staff.

Azul Naturally Healthy, Alvor

If you think vegetarian food is boring and tasteless, you are mistaken. In Azul Naturally Healthy eating is fun and colourful. Marisa Marques manages with a smile this small and friendly space in Alvor that serves meals 100% vegan, organic and gluten free. Here there is the believe that we can eat healthy food in the most natural way possible taking advantage of what nature gives us the best and being ethical towards animals and the environment. Serves lunch, drinks and coffee. There is also a small grocery store where you can buy some organic products for an original souvenir.

Marisa

Ask for the Peanut Butter Candies you might be lucky and savour some real sweet vegan and raw delight.

Bombons

Armazém Integral, Portimão

Armazém Integral is an original healthy food store in Portimão that sells in bulk and also serves 100% vegan meals, juices and raw desserts. Here you can find special and varied flours, healthy pastry, superfoods, oilseeds, seeds, cereals natural supplements, and more, all in bulk, for a sustainable and tailor-made consumption, always at your disposal with the attentiveness and kindness of the couple Érika and Adérito. A vegan dish, a fresh juice and a raw dessert are served for lunch every day of the week to eat on the site or to take away.

armazem

Meals vary during the week and are always tasty but our highlight goes definitely to the original raw desserts that surprises all customers. Ah! And you must also taste the vegan ice creams. They are delicious!

raw

Mercearia Bio Café, Portimão

Just around the corner from Armazém Integral, you can find the Mercearia Bio Café that started its adventure ten years ago as the Mercearia Bio, an organic grocery online. The dream of Pedro Gonçalves, the owner, grew and materialized in the Mercearia Bio Café, where besides the commercialization of organic products, organic fresh, drinks and organic non food, you can have breakfast, light lunch, a snack or drink a natural juice, everything 100% organic certified. The Mercearia Bio Café has a cosy interior space, a small but pleasant outdoor terrace with partial river view and always a friendly service.

Mercearia 2

If you are a coffee lover, you must taste their genuine organic coffee.

Cafe b

Super Juice – Juice and Smoothie Bar, Praia da Rocha

Super Juice is located on Praia da Rocha and offers a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, as well as salads, sandwiches and healthy snacks. It is less than 1 minute from the famous Praia da Rocha and we can even see the sea from the terrace. A relaxed space with a typical beach bar décor. If you want to start the day with an energizing juice before a dive, this is a great option. On the menu there are also salads and sandwiches with various vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian options, and two varieties of hummus.

Super juice

For a healthier holiday time, Green Detox is the juice you’ll want to try

Green Detox

Taberna da Casa da Tocha, Portimão

Casa da Tocha is situated in the center of Portimão, in an early 20th-century building. With a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, Taberna da Casa da Tocha serves meals, snacks and wines. Every day there is a fish dish, a meat dish and a special raw vegan of the day – a place that will appeal to all, vegetarians, vegan, raw food lovers, and non-vegetarians. The wine cellar offers a careful selection of Portuguese wines, with special emphasis on the Algarve wines. Casa da Tocha also has a family-friendly hostel with a maximum capacity of 10 people.

Casa da Tocha

The guacamole nachos are a real treat you can not fail to experience.

Nachos de guacamole e salada

Vegetarianus, Portimão

Vegetarianus is a small restaurant in the center of Portimão that exclusively serves vegetarian dishes, also offering the take away option. The couple that owns the restaurant is very friendly and makes delicious dishes that leads us to know new flavors and to truly realize that vegetarian food can be as, or more delicious, than the traditional cuisine. Every day there is a variety of different and colorful dishes and desserts that sometimes seem almost impossible that only two people can make so much delicious food in one morning! It is a residents’ lunch spot, so if you want to get a table easily, we suggest you go early in the opening hour at 12:00am.

vegetarianus

The food is all tasty, but our highlight goes definitly for the salty pastries that with a salad and a natural juice, are by themselves a delicious and healthy meal.

pasteis doces e salgados

If you wish to know more veg-friendly eateries across the globe you can check the Lonely Planet article here.

Aguardente de Medronho, the nectar of the gods of the Algarve

With the autumn and the first rains, it begins in the Algarve, the harvesting season of the arbutus, the fruit from which the famous Aguardente de Medronho is made.
BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

With the autumn and the first rains – which have been slow to fall this year – it begins in the Algarve, when the branches of the arbutus are filled with red and orange fruits, the harvesting season of the arbutus, the fruit from which the famous Aguardente de Medronho is made.

The arbutus is a spontaneous plant typical of the mountains of the Algarve and the south of the Mediterranean.

2014-12-02-medronho

Its fruits, yellow, orange and red, appear in mid-October and November and look like wild strawberries, although rounder and rough in texture.

Those of red colour already mature are sweet and edible and even quite healthy because they have an antioxidant action.

The use of the fruit of the arbutus for fermentation and distillation or for the confection of jams is a practice that dates back many centuries throughout the mountainous area of ​​the Algarve.

The distillation technique with stills originates in the Egyptian and Greek civilizations and usually takes place in mid-February.

DESTAQUE_Medronho-933x445

The fruits are carefully collected, fermented in wooden kettles, after which, after some time, they are distilled in copper stills.

destilaria-1

The quality of the fruit, its harvest, the care with the fermentation, the distillation and its time of duration, are some of the secrets of each producer. Secrets that are transmitted from generation to generation, so that the final product – the Aguardente de Medronho from the Algarve – is unique throughout the world and of unparalleled flavour.

A true gods’ nectar from the mountains of the Algarve, which you cannot fail to prove next time in the Algarve!

Medronho-lavrar-o-mar-Monchique-8

If you want to know a little more about the stages of the arbutus – picking, fermentation, distillation and bottling, just look here.