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2
Sat, 6/15
20:00

Ratings and reviews

#707 of 2,542 Portuguese in Lisbon
#1,073 of 4,420 Restaurants in Lisbon
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
£55 - £55
CUISINES
European, Portuguese
Meals
Dinner, After-hours, Drinks
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Reviews (433)
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All reviews mash cod sea bass bacalhau fado singers music starts main course house wine set menu portion sizes lovely evening performance singing tiles alfama players emotions
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Oh my Lord, how does one review this experience? I have lived a few years on this planet and my rough estimate of steaks I have eaten, would I think, surpass 2500. This establishment is now infamous in my memory for officially serving me the...worst steak I have eaten in my life. I love thatI I found this lowest point in culinary incompetence tucked away in a beautiful part of Alfama. But that is not why we came. Fado was our calling; as we like many, kick ourselves for being sucked into this tourism vacuum. I have watched over many years, people who have been conned, given away their life savings on scams, only to ponder how they could be victims to such obvious peril. Yet tonight; through poor google research, we found ourselves victims. Thank you to almighty above, who only exposed us to 130 Euro of hard lesson. We walked in; the setting seemed romantic and acoustic. as we sat down, memories of my teenage years came flooding back as I saw the bar tender squeezing goon bags of cask wine into carafes. The tin foil of the wine bags glistened in the light as the waiter poured our wine; “ This is from Southern Portugal” he said. I could hardly keep a straight face. 8.30 pm and don’t come early, you will wait. 10.30 pm and the food highlight was undoubtedly the bread on the table when we arrived, and still no Fado. Oh we of little Fado culture, completely out of touch. The Fado begins; It is good; in fact, really talented. 4 songs later it’s over. It’s now 11.00pm My wife has just finished the fruit dessert; half an orange peeled and cut into pieces This is so bad; it’s actually fun. The second Fado ensemble begins with a different singer. He too is talented . After 4 songs he departs and it’s now 11.30 pm. Punters start arriving. The smart ones who know to avoid the tourist food trap and just rock up for some beers and good Fado. We leave; the fun has exhausted us, and we cover our faces as we leave, hoping there is no media channel capturing our folly. If you book this experience, you’re an idiot. I am so sorry for labelling you and judging you in advance as we ourselves became idiots this night. But; as they say in the junk tv lifestyle news; “ If we can prevent just one other person from falling Victim to this scam, then our embarrassment has been worth it” Sadly’ there is a good chance you will read this review after your peril. Don’t worry , you only lost 130 Euro!More

Date of visit: May 2024
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 21 April 2024 via mobile

We expected a lot but disappointed. Great staff and service, but let down by very average food. The cod is well short of what's expected. Many reviews have described as 'tourist trap'. But it's better than that. Urgently need to raise standard of recipees, however.

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed 22 October 2023 via mobile

This Fado and dinner experience was amazing! It was the best choice in Lisbon by far. The dinner was delicious and the wine was poured from the moment of arrival until we left. Beatriz, the singer was spectacular!!!!

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 10 October 2023

It's a tourist trap. If you want to listen to some fado and drink overpriced wine show up around 11.30pm. If you want to be robbed blind showup around 8.30pm and pay 65 euros for food you could buy from a supermarket and listen to...anemic performances.More

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 25 September 2023 via mobile

I wasn’t expecting great cuisine in a fado venue and the meal definitely met that expectation. Overall it was passable - barely. Two of the appetizers which should have been warm were cold. My husband’s chocolate cookie dessert was hard and lacked flavor. When we...arrived we were directed to go upstairs as all the tables downstairs were already taken. Two tables remained. We sat ourselves at the one that overlooked the main floor. I was seated at the railing so could see the performers well when I turned around but my husband even when leaning forward could see very little. The last couple to arrive was left with the table against the back wall and they couldn’t see a thing. Fortunately we were both able to move downstairs after we’d finished our meals as tables opened up when some people left. The fado was wonderful. There just wasn’t enough of it. Our reservation was for 9:30 pm. They performed one set while we (and everyone else) were eating, then took a long intermission. They performed a second set and took another intermission. We were hoping it would be a shorter one but it wasn’t. We really wanted to stay and hear the third set but as midnight approached and it appeared they weren’t coming back anytime soon, we gave up and left. The locals are smart and show up after the meal to just take in the fado. The place is open until 2 am but unfortunately we really aren’t into getting to bed at 3 am.More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 14 September 2023 via mobile

A tourist trap, very unfortunately, in an otherwise nice touristic location of Lisbon. We were of course prepared: the fixed-priced menu and the included Fado show were strong "negative alert" signals. We were nonetheless expecting good quality food for 65€/person, which was not and most...definitely the case. Even portion sizes were "adapted" and the three-course menu is a joke.More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 8 September 2023 via mobile

Impeccable service! Delicioso! Super helpful crew, with Anna and Paulo providing superb help and recommendations. Well spent evening with more food and drinks than I could finish included in the dinner set price. Glasses and glasses of wine, very satisfying starter+main course+dessert, and espresso and...local digestive to top it off. And the evening continues with fascinating Fado performances in such a charming setting!More

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed 8 September 2023

Excellent food, service, and Fado show! The atmosphere and venue are perfect to enjoy the traditional Portuguese meal and music.

Date of visit: September 2023
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Reviewed 29 June 2023

This place is a total tourist trap. Let’s start from best to worst: Service 5 stars, ambience 4, food 3, fado show 2, price 1 star. The menu will cost you €10 on the bill, but the fado show €50,00, meaning you will pay €60...per person to dine a very unsophisticated menu (fish and peas or a cod cake) that shows no sign of creativity nor flavor. Desserts like the Chocolate Salami were left untouched by the majority and of guests, as they taste like marble. The other options were sliced oranges or “fios de ovos”, all very simple and lazy. The house wine was trick and the whole experience misleading. For €30,00 you can eat delicious dishes and watch amazing fado shows on other places in Alfama, like Baiiuca or Coração da Alfama. Stay away: it’s a tourist trap.More

Date of visit: June 2023
Helpful?4  
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Reviewed 6 June 2023 via mobile

Couple in our 60’s travelling from Canada Dinner with fado show last night It’s funny to read the bad reviews about this place - complaining about the food and the prices; it would be a perfect world if people would do some research before going...into places like this - but in the same time … oh well many people just like to complain It was fantastic Honestly when we got there and I saw that everyone is a tourist I thought oh oh tourist trap I was so wrong and so happy to be wrong I didn’t expect a fantastic dinner we knew we’re going for the show (people complaining about the price of dinner probably never go to a live music show and pay just for the show) But dinner was good Appetizers on the table, main course a choice from 4 we had the mushroom risotto and the sea-bass- both good Wine and beer Portuguese style - flowing The dinner starts at 8.30 sharp Don’t go earlier you won’t get seated and you won’t get a drink Music starts at 10.30 First one was Maura tiny young lady with a strong voice and the three guitar players A small break to fill in the glasses chat with neighbours And this elderly gentleman is next OMG he starts and angels sing withMore

Date of visit: June 2023
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 9 May 2023

I think the people who give this less than 3 stars are missing the point. If you want a few hours to enjoy your companions' company and conversation in a VERY compact old chapel, with amazing old tiles and a quirky feel, this is the...place for you. Behind big wood doors you will find abour twenty places, your starter is waiting for you, we had a tuna mayonnaise and 4 lovely bread rolls, tempura green beans which I adored, a cuttlefish type mash and a cheesy sort of dumpling. All really tasty. You pay sixty euros for this unique experience. The staff are super lovely and helpful, the place clean and this includes the toilet (up a sprial staircase so this is not for people of limited mobility). The portion sizes of the main course (a range of meats and fish) are adequate not large. I have a wonderful cod dish, and I completely zoned out just enjoying the flavour of the fish. Desert, again a choice of three, and yes this ranges from an orange salad (or sliced orange as you might really want to call it), chocolate slice cake or a cinnamon tart. So if you think you will get endless food made ny Gordon Ramsay and music by Ed Sheeran for sixty euros - NO! But you can get beers and wine and water while you eat, the service is great and at about 1030 you get the entertainment of fado - skilled musicians playing guitars and emotive singers . It doesn't matter that there's no explanation about what the lyrics mean, the performances are enthralling. The entertainment can go on quite late and the music is performed about three songs at a time then a break and so on... Loved it.More

Date of visit: May 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 8 May 2023

I really hope they were just having a bad day, but I feel that I should post this lines. This restaurant was refered to me by two friends who had been there a few years ago and loved it, unfortunately my experience wasn’t as great,...so sad because the place is very charming and the fado was beautiful, but it was not the case for the dishes served. The pork dish my in-laws ordered was like Panda Express beef and broccoli that my son orders sometimes with out the broccoli, my bacalhau was room temperature, the almond tart that we had for dessert looked like a slice of a grocery store thanksgiving pumpkin pie, in short very mediocre food for €180.00, for the three of us. At the end when we gave the credit card to the waiter, he told us that they didn’t accept credit card and I could go across the street to get cash at the ATM machine, two other tables were surprised about that as well, I explained we had only credit card and than he said they have a credit card machine that “sometimes works”. In short, I hope I’m wrong but my impression is that sadly Mesa de Frades is loosing its touch 😔, or hopefully, they were just having a bad day.More

Date of visit: May 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 22 April 2023

The food was as bad as a high school cafeteria. Maybe worse. On arrival at the appointed time of 9 pm we were told to climb a narrow spiral staircase, where we and the other four American tourist couples already eating were sequestered in a...balcony with no view of the show that would happen below. 60 euros a person. The bad wine and terrible dinner were finished by 935, but the show wasn't going. to start until 10:30. We left.More

Date of visit: April 2023
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 2 April 2023 via mobile

We had a lovely evening at Mesa de Frades. The traditional and simple Portuguese food was tasty and the wine was plentiful. The Fado music, which started at around 10.30pm, was amazing…the intimate nature of the building definitely helped immerse you in the Fado experience....Note: the Fado music is something to watch and experience, and appreciate the emotions of the songs. Some people tried to clap along to one of songs but were politely told to stop.More

Date of visit: March 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 12 February 2023 via mobile

The best fado experience in Lisbon. After a perfect dinner with very friendly service, the Fado performers were sharing their songs with excellent quality. After the main singers, in the second part the young talents shared their high-quality performances with us. totally recommended. Very nice...and well decorated place in an old chapel.More

Date of visit: February 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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MESA DE FRADES, Lisbon - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Menu, Prices, & Reservations - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Mesa De Frades

Mesa De Frades is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 3.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5