There are plenty of upscale joints where fado music is treated as something sacred to accompany a fancy (and often over-priced) dinner. Povo takes fado back to its roots as a bluesy, boozy music of the people. Four nights a week, two musicians—one grasping a classical guitar, the other the tear-shaped, 12-stringed Portuguese version—take their seats in the crowded bar. Silence falls when they are joined by an intense singer who proceeds to launch into a set laced with the pain of lost love or longing for a far-away homeland. This is fado in its pure form, to be enjoyed with strong red wine and some hearty Portuguese snack food. Dishes here include spicy marinated muscles, fried cuttlefish, and stewed chicken gizzards. The singers rotate in for a two-month residency at the end of which they cut a CD that goes on sale in the bar. There's no fado on Mondays, when it's poetry night from 10pm, nor on Fridays and Saturdays, when DJs take over and the musical pace steps up a few gears with funk, pop, and R&B. Opened in 2011 by the owners of nearby rock venue Music Box, Povo has been one of the prime movers in regenerating the happening Cais do Sodré neighborhood.
Rua Nova do Carvalho 32-36
Our Rating Neighborhood Cais do Sodré Hours Sun–Wed 6pm–2am, Thurs–Sat 6pm–4am Transportation Metro: Cais do Sodré; tram: 25; bus: 202, 758 Phone 21/347-3403 Prices Free admission; small dishes around 7€ Web site Povo