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4 Largo del Teatro Valle, Rome, 00186, Italy

Anyone weary from traipsing the cobblestones in the Centro Storico will love this innovative and relaxed bilevel restaurant, where you can drop in for a breather and a bite (and AC) almost any time of day. During lunch (11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.) you can get an unlimited buffet of savory dishes—mushroom risotto, asparagus frittata, and roast pork, to name a few—for around $15. At aperitivo time (happy hour), a fresh new spread is laid on the buffet, and you can eat as much as you like for the price of a drink. Dinner is a grown-up à la carte menu; try the swordfish carpaccio with toasted almonds for an antipasto and the sliced tuna steak with caponata for your secondo. Clientele is solidly Roman (and the well-dressed, devastatingly good-looking variety, at that). At lunch, sit at the raised communal table in the middle of the room; at happy hour, sink into one of the leather armchairs; at dinner, snag a table on the mezzanine overlooking the buzzy scene downstairs.

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CO2 Brasserie

Anyone weary from traipsing the cobblestones in the Centro Storico will love this innovative and relaxed bilevel restaurant, where you can drop in for a breather and a bite (and AC) almost any time of day. During lunch (11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.) you can get an unlimited buffet of savory dishes—mushroom risotto, asparagus frittata, and roast pork, to name a few—for around $15. At aperitivo time (happy hour), a fresh new spread is laid on the buffet, and you can eat as much as you like for the price of a drink. Dinner is a grown-up à la carte menu; try the swordfish carpaccio with toasted almonds for an antipasto and the sliced tuna steak with caponata for your secondo. Clientele is solidly Roman (and the well-dressed, devastatingly good-looking variety, at that). At lunch, sit at the raised communal table in the middle of the room; at happy hour, sink into one of the leather armchairs; at dinner, snag a table on the mezzanine overlooking the buzzy scene downstairs.