I realized we hadn’t reviewed Epcot’s Via Napoli for you since 2010, so it was time to head back!
Via Napoli, a Patina Group restaurant like its neighbor Tutto Italia, is our vote for the best pizza in Disney World, hands down. In fact, ever since moving to Texas from New York City, Via Napoli is the spot that’s come closest to re-creating my favorite NYC pie!
For that and several other reasons, this has quickly become one of our favorite Disney World restaurants, and we actually visit quite often; but we can’t help ourselves and always get the same thing, so there’s no reason to report on it over here! On this visit, we decided to break our own mold and order a few new items just to mix it up a bit!
Via Napoli takes up the back wall of Epcot’s beautiful Italy pavilion. The imposing building was built in 2010 and soon became one of Epcot’s most-loved restaurants.
The restaurant technically has two dining rooms — the main dining room is a large, two-story echo chamber of a room, punctuated by three HUGE pizza ovens named for volcanoes in Italy; a large, central table that takes up nearly the entire width of the room (yes, you can be seated here; no, you don’t have to be seated here); and colorful frescoes and vintage-looking travel art highlighting locations in Italy.
What used to be an outdoor dining area and has since been glassed in offers a second seating area, which has been used for special events during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, like the Italy Beer and Pizza Tasting Event.
On this occasion, we were seated in the second dining room, which gave us lots of great light since the wall is essentially made of windows!
Like I said, this is one of our favorite spots, so we dine here often. If you read this Via Napoli Review, you’ll see what we usually get: arancini, a salad, an Italian Margarita, a Moretti La Rossa, quattro formaggi pizza, and zeppole!
But things were a little different on this trip! First of all, we were glad to see some fun beer and wine specialties on the table.
I’m also intrigued to see that “bread is available upon request” in small print over on the antipasti menu! I had no idea! I would surely have requested!
So, on this trip I started with a Lemon San Pellegrino. I’ve been in love with this tart, biting little drink for years and years, and I rarely find it on any menus. Disney World’s Italy is one of the only places I can indulge!
I also had to take a requisite shot of the glasses here. I love them!! All wobbly and wonky!
For eats, my husband started out with a salad. I’m not sure I can find this on the menu, as it didn’t have meat in it and I wasn’t sure about fennel and green beans, but those are the only salads I can find on the menu. Regardless, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? And he very much enjoyed it.
My appetizer was the Fritto di Verdura, or fried veggies. The breading on these is very light, and the veggies were cooked perfectly — still very firm and crunchy! I also really enjoy the marinara here, so the sauce was a great addition to the flavor of the veggies.
For my entree, I went off MY beaten path and chose the candele pasta. It looks a bit like lasagna in the picture, but it’s actually long tubes of candlestick-like pasta (thus the name).
This was amazing, and I couldn’t stop eating it!! It was a heavier dish, but the ingredients were fresh and flavorful, which is what made me keep eating! In addition to the pasta, it included sausage ragu, polpettine meatballs, ricotta, and mozzarella. Heavenly.
Of course, we HAD to get at least one pizza, so my husband ordered a build-your-own with prosciutto. The long strips of prosciutto didn’t look all that appetizing to me, but it actually was delicious.
Now, of course it’s on to dessert! (My second dessert stomach is always pretty reliable.) While I’m usually not a fan of the desserts at a lot of Italian restaurants, Via Napoli does a decent job of offering some indulgent delights. Personally, I’ve tried the “Ugly but Good” sundae, the frizzante, and the zeppole and enjoyed them all.
On this visit, though, we decided on gelato! Lemon for me, pistachio for my husband. Both flavors were extremely smooth and much creamier than we expected! This reminded me a lot of the gelato I had when I was backpacking through Italy all those many moons ago (I had no money, so I ate a lot of bread, cheese, and gelato from street vendors…vitamins, ya know.)
And here’s my artsy-fartsy shot!!
Once again, Via Napoli delivers. Good drinks, good food, good dessert. I’m pretty much willing to go to this restaurant at any time, so if I’m in Disney World the same time you are, give me a holler if you have reservations!
Seriously though, we’ve tested this spot several times and have always had a good-to-great meals, and the service has always been decent.
I’d love to hear some of your favorite menu items — it’s hard for us to get out of our rut!!! Please make suggestions in the comments below!