The 6 Real Fado Houses in Porto

There are many places to listen to Fado in Porto. But did you know that most of them are not “Fado Houses”?

The 6 Real Fado Houses in Porto

Common sense dictates that any place where you can listen to live Fado is a Fado House. But professionals in the sector and Portuguese law don’t agree with that assumption. Want to know why and where you can find Fado Houses?

If so, read on to discover:

  1. The six real Fado Houses in Porto
  2. What Fado professionals think
  3. What Portuguese law says
  4. Whether listening to Fado in a Fado House is better

The six real Fado Houses in Porto

The term “Fado House” comes from the Portuguese “Casas de Fado”, which are defined in Portuguese legislation as “typical food and drink establishments where there is a fado performance”.

Although there are many places where you can listen to Fado in Porto, there are only six that meet this description and qualify as Fado Houses.

Do you want to listen to Fado without eating?

If you just want to listen to Fado without dinner, come to our intimate concert dedicated exclusively to the most authentic tradition of classical Fado.

1. Arcadas de S. Jorge

@ Arcadas de S. Jorge

Arcadas de S. Jorge is the newest Fado House in Porto. Managed by the same experienced team that runs Casa da Mariquinhas (discussed below), it is a captivating place to listen to Fado.

Address: Rua de Miragaia 55, Porto, Portugal, 4050-386

Phone: +351 910 271 416

URL: arcadasportofado.pt

2. Casa da Mariquinhas

Fado Houses in Porto - A Casa da Mariquinhas
@ Casa da Mariquinhas

Casa da Mariquinhas was founded in 1968 and boasts a tremendous location in Porto’s oldest district, Sé, right in front of the Arco de Santana. It is a cosy and intimate place where you can enjoy both Fado and traditional Portuguese gastronomy. .

Address: R. de São Sebastião 25, 4050-568 Porto

Phone: +351 915 613 877

URL: www.casadamariquinhas.pt

3. Fado Português

@Fado Português

Run by the illustrious Fado singer Sandra Correia and frequented by several esteemed Fado players, Fado Português is a no-frills establishment where attendees can listen to excellent Fado in a welcoming family atmosphere.

Address: R. Valente Perfeito 301-213, 4400-330 Vila Nova de Gaia

Phone: +351 915 543 950

URL: facebook.com/fadoportuguesvngaia

4. Mal Cozinhado

Fado Houses Porto - Mal Cozinhado
@ Mal Cozinhado

Mal Cozinhado is a traditional restaurant located in a 14th-century building in Porto’s historic riverside area. It is a beautiful and historic space, with preserved wooden beams and characterful original side walls. Situated next to the Douro River, it is an ideal place to enjoy Fado and a good dinner in the evening.

Address: Rua do Outeirinho nº13, 4050-450 Porto

Phone: +351 222 081 319

URL: malcozinhado.pt

5. O Fado

Fado Houses Porto - O Fado
@ O Fado

Situated next to the Douro River, it is an ideal place to enjoy Fado and a good dinner in the evening.

Address: R. de São João Novo 16, 4050-431 Porto

Phone: +351 22 202 6937

URL: ofado.com

6. Taberna Real do Fado

Fado Houses Porto - Taberna Real do Fado
@ Taberna Real do Fado

Taberna Real do Fado is located in in Clérigos, next to the famous Clérigos Tower, in a restored old building. Here, any Fado enthusiast can enjoy quality Fado while sampling the best dishes that Portuguese gastronomy has to offer.

Address: R. do Dr. Barbosa de Castro 58, 4050-090 Porto

Phone: +351 927 755 914

URL: realfado.pt/

What Fado professionals think

According to Fado artists and those who own Fado Houses, a Fado House is a traditional restaurant that always features Fado artists during its opening hours.

According to these professionals, there are key differences between Fado Houses and restaurants which simply include live Fado shows. The main difference is that, while the latter tend to only open with a brief Fado show, the former place a far greater emphasis on the music, with Fado performers taking to the stage at multiple points throughout the evening. That is not to say, of course, that Fado Houses neglect the quality of food; it is simply that Fado music is at the heart of everything.

In addition, Fado Houses are generally decorated in a traditional manner, with their spaces organised in such as a way as to support the musical performances.

What Portuguese law says

The CAE (Business Activity Code) 56104states that traditional Portuguese restaurants are “defined by the specificity of their cuisine (meals), decoration, furniture and, finally, by the display of folklore to reconstitute an atmosphere characteristic of a Portuguese region”.

The second point of Article 32 of Decree No 4/99 of 1 April 1999 stipulates that “typical catering and drinking establishments in which there is a Fado performance may use the name ‘Casa de Fado’ [Fado House]”.

According to these definitions, we can say that a Fado House is a traditional restaurant, with a décor and atmosphere allusive to Fado, which is able to designate itself as a “Casa de Fado” because it has performances of this type of music.

Is Listening to Fado in a Fado House better?

A similar experience can be had in all Fado Houses. Basically, it consists of listening to small musical moments distributed over three or four hours.

Today, you can enjoy excellent Fado experiences in many different settings in Porto. The fact that a venue has the “Fado House” designation does not in itself guarantee a better experience. That designation, as we have seen, is conferred on establishments based on technical criteria to do with business activity as opposed to any assessment of quality. One should not, therefore, believe that going to a Fado House will necessarily mean attending a better level of Fado performance.

Do you want to listen to Fado without eating?

If you just want to listen to Fado without dinner, come to our intimate concert dedicated exclusively to the most authentic tradition of classical Fado.

Most of the artists who perform in the Fado Houses are not exclusive to those venues, and some of the best professional artists in Porto do not even perform regularly in the Fado Houses.

If you want to know more about another type of Fado experience in Porto, read my article on Fado concerts in Porto without dinner.

However, for those who want to experience what it is like to listen to Fado at night while enjoying a delicious dinner, going to a Fado House is probably the best option. In Porto, all six Fado Houses have excellent artists, delicious food and the perfect ambience in which to listen to Fado.