Via Napoli is the newest dining location to open in the Italy pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, and finally solves the age-old problem of where to get decent pizza while at Walt Disney World. Nestled in the very back of the pavilion, Via Napoli features cuisine from Southern Italy, but the pizza is the main attraction.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, your eye will immediately be drawn to the 3 large, wood-burning pizza ovens. Each features a large marble face and represents the 3 active volcanoes of Italy; Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius and Stromboli. The dining area is large, open and family friendly. We visited for the first time on a Saturday afternoon in May, and it was very busy. Making Advanced Dining Reservations is recommended.
One thing any Italian chef worth their weight in rigatoni will tell you is that good pasta and bread comes from good water. For years, many would blame the poor pizza at WDW on Florida water. But that has been remedied at Via Napoli, as the water for the dough is imported straight from Italy. And I have to say it was noticeable as soon as the bread and butter hit the table.
The menu includes traditional Italian appetizers like Minestrone, Arancini (risotto balls filed with meat and cheese) and Calamari. For dinner you’ll find some pastas like Spaghetti, Lasagna and Seafood Linguine, and of course, the pizza. You have several pizza options, as well as a create-your-own. The Quattro Formaggi Pizza (4 cheese) and Prosciutto E Melone Pizza, were recommended to us by the server. We opted for the Prosciutto E Melone; white pizza, fontina, mozzarella, prosciutto, cantaloupe and arugula. They serve 3 sizes, individual, large and extra large. The large was plenty for 2 people. My wife and I both enjoyed the pizza as it was some very unique flavors and the dough was spectacular. If we ever returned we might try something more traditional with sauce, but were still very happy with our decision.
They also have specialty drinks like Sangria, Italian wine and Aqua Frescas, orange and strawberry fresh fruit juice coolers. My wife had the orange flavor, which tasted like a very light, very fresh, fruit drink, and was quite good, but maybe not worth the price. We did not sample any of the desserts, but of course you will find many of your Italian favorites such like Tiramisu and Gelato.
The View and the Review
One thing my wife was sure to point out as soon as we sat down was how attractive the male staff there was. Seriously, even the busboys looked like male models. Was there something I didn’t know going on here?! So single ladies (and maybe not-single ladies), stop by Via Napoli for your viewing pleasure, I guess. Overall, I recommend Via Napoli. It is the best pizza you will get in Walt Disney World, and a welcome addition to the many fabulous dining locations in World Showcase. The dining area is vibrant with its open-air kitchen and pizza ovens, and the atmosphere is fun and welcoming. It is a great place for families with children (there is a kid’s menu) or even couples. The pizzas can be a tad pricey though ($30 for a 2-3 person size), but of course that is all relative to Disney in general.
Via Napoli serves both lunch and dinner. It accepts the Disney Dining Plan, and be sure to check for Annual Passholder discounts.
Jason will happily discuss Mickey Bars, 80’s EPCOT Center, that Pirates of the Caribbean water smell, Hitchhiking Ghosts or the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater anytime you'd like. Jason lives in Illinois with his wife, and is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. His is work can be found at jasonmuhr.com.
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