04/23/2014 12:31 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2014

Surround Sound Lisbon-Style in a Fado Restaurant

Each time I visit Lisbon, one of my projects is to review the many fado opportunities so those with my Rick Steves Portugal guidebook get the best late-night memory. Fado is traditional folk music that reflects Portugal's bittersweet relationship with the sea. You can go to a fancy show in a fancy upscale restaurant for lots of money. But I like the free shows, deep in the characteristic and rough-edged neighborhoods. Here (at Restaurante A Baiuca in the Alfama, listed in my guidebook) the woman who owns the place is joined by her cooks, while the headwaiter sings at the door (along with a neighbor in the middle of the restaurant who dropped by tonight for the open mic). And they even invite the tourists to sing along "in English", la, la, la, la.