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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

See the Contemporary Side of Dublin


5. Oddball Day

The manicured grounds surrounding the Irish Museum of Modern Art.  

Find alternative style and international cuisine in a city that’s not known for either. Start your day in the historic Portobello neighborhood with an almond croissant or hot bagel ($3–$7) at the Bretzel Bakery, the oldest Jewish bakery in the city. Next, head into the city center to shop for 1930s dresses at Dirty Fabulous, a vintage women’s apparel store that sources from Berlin and Paris. Then add to your vinyl and book collections at the nearby Secret Book and Record Store, where locals head to find an eclectic assortment of titles on philosophy and literature. For lunch, stroll through some of Dublin’s most picturesque streets to reach L’Gueuleton, a French restaurant that earns widespread praise and is among the most authentic Gallic options here. Afterward, hop on the LUAS for a quick ride to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (free), where the permanent collection of 1,650 works ranges from painting to photography to video. The selection is heavy on Irish artists, but recent exhibitions have featured pieces by Klee and Picasso. Return to the city center by tram, and transfer to the DART train to get to the Pearse Street station. From here, stroll through elegant Merrion Square toward Diep Le Shaker, a Thai restaurant with authentic ingredients flown in from Bangkok. Savor traditional flavors in dishes like larb ped ($13), finely-shredded duck breast with lemongrass, chili, lime, and coriander served in lettuce cups, or pla neung manow ($42), whole roasted sea bass infused with garlic, chili, fish sauce, and lemongrass. Round out the day with after-dinner entertainment at Ukiyo, a Japanese karaoke bar that stays open until 2:30 a.m. on weekends.

Published on Aug 11, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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