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  13. Italy: Rome – Ops!...

A tasty vegan buffet located just outside the city walls of Rome

After our first two nights in Rome where we “suspended” our vegan diet to try some traditional Italian dishes (mainly pasta and pizza) we decided that we needed to get back on track. Researching Happy Cow we found a surprisingly limited number of vegan eating options in Central Rome. After bit humming and hawing we decided on trying a restaurant called Ops! which was located about 2.7 km (1.7 miles) from our apartment.

It was an interesting walk with plenty of things to look at en route. Our path took us past the British Embassy. There are many stunning buildings in Rome but this Embassy is not one of them – indeed it is a truly ugly concrete monstrosity.

The truly ugly British Embassy

Eventually, we passed through the city walls and it was only a short walk from there to the restaurant.

Location: Via Bergamo, 56, 00198 Roma RM, Italy
Telephone: +39 06 841 1769
Hours: Tue-Sun: 8:30 am-11:30 pm Mon: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Map: Google Maps
Average Food Price: This is a buffet self-service you pay by weight
Food: A wide variety of vegan food options

Ops! is a vegan buffet where you can choose what you like from an extensive range of veggies, pastas and other delights. Once you have filled your plate you take it to counter to have it weighed and are charged depending on how much food you piled on. It is not particularly cheap and it can be a shock when you see how much your choices are costing you – the trouble is everything looks so good and it is tempted to stack you plate high.

There is quite a lot of seating inside the restaurant. The decor is simple with modern styling and there is a lot of light which makes the whole place feel very light and airy. When we are on holiday we of course prefer to sit outside – where there was a small amount of street side seating. The street itself is a quiet backstreet, so there is no traffic to drown out your conversation but at the same time there is nobody passing by so people watching is limited (which is one of our favourite pastimes).

Inside seating

We sat down at our table outside. As I love my root vegetables my plate looked very monochromatic compared to Karen’s – but I didn’t care it all tasted wonderful to me. There is a waiter service for drinks, so we ordered our now regular bottle of Italian beer and settled in to eat our delicious meal.

My monochromatic plate of goodies

Whilst we had been choosing our food from the buffet we could not help but notice the desserts that sat there on the shelf calling our name. Knowing that we were going to have a dessert, which is not always the case, I had not put a much food on my plate (well sort of). So, once we had let our main course settle in our tummies Karen went off to forage for our desserts. Unlike the main course you pay a set amount. Our desserts were delivered to our table; a delicious but rich chocolate torte and an excellent vegan cheese cake topped with berries. Karen had done well – and by the time we were done we were truly full!

Overall, I liked the simplicity of Ops! – its basic cafe style and uncomplicated buffet. It was a totally vegan offering so it made making our selections very easy. There was a good amount of variance in the buffet to cater for all. The only downside is that  you pay be weight – which is a fair way of approaching pricing – but it can lead to a bit of a shock when it comes to paying. With the limited number of vegan options available around the Eternal City this is one play that is worth checking out if you are in town.

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