the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Review: Via Napoli

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!

Atmosphere

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.

Window Themeing

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.

Via Napoli's Pizza Ovens

Center Table

Via Napoli Seating and wall frescoes

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.

Outside Seating

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!

Eats

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.

Beers and Drinks Specials - click image for larger version

Wine Specials - click image for larger version

The menu has switched up a bit as well. As we reported earlier, the pizza pricing has gone up a bit, and guests can now create their own pizza as opposed to having to order one of the pre-set pies.

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!

Menu - click image for larger version

Menu - click image for larger version

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!

San Pellegrino Lemon

I also had to take a requisite shot of the glasses here. I love them!! All wobbly and wonky!

Water

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.

Salad

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.

Fritto di Verdura - Fried 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.

Candele

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.

Pizza with Prosciutto

Pizza Close-Up

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.

Desserts - click image for larger version

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.) ;-)

Lemon Gelato

Pistachio Gelato

And here’s my artsy-fartsy shot!!

Pistachio Gelato Close-Up

Overall

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!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

29 Comments

  1. This place is gorgeous inside. I love the high ceilings.
    Food is excellent.
    I wish they’d keep their outdoor “pizza window” open more often.
    I love that you get thick crust at the window and thin inside.
    Super addition to Epcot/Italian Pavilion.
    Frank

  2. Pudge the Fish says:

    Looking forward to my return to Via Napoli at the end of March, pre-Fantasy. It’s nice to see the build-your-own option although I am quite content with the delicious signature pie options.

  3. Heidi Bilotti says:

    Via Napoli is a beautiful restaurant with fantastic service and food. We were disappointed over the holiday season to see that they take the zepoli off the menu during busy seasons. We had another dessert but it just didn’t compare.

  4. Eric says:

    Every trip we book an ADR here and for some reason we always have to cancel. I think we have to stick with the ADR this time no matter what. It’s difficult in Epcot to book a TS when there are so many great CS and snack options. But this looks like a gem!

  5. Elyssa says:

    I LOVE this restaurant! My family and I ate pizza in Naples during our Mediterranean Disney Cruise last May and we tried Via Napoli for the first time this past September to see if it could stack up. It was just as good and didn’t involve a 7 hour flight to get it! I will definitely be eating here again in May when I visit so I can keep reliving my wonderful Disney Cruise memories.

  6. Canada68 says:

    Great review AJ ! I love Via Napoli, too and (as you mentioned) always get the same thing—pizza and salad. I love their crust! I’ve had the fried veggies, too and they were delicious- the sauce that comes with them is positively addictive. Next time I go I’m branching out and trying something new. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  7. Julie says:

    Via Napoli is one of my favorites! I spent four months living in Italy last year and this is as close to authentic Italian pizza as I can get. The proscuitto e melone (proscuitto, canteloupe, and arugula) is amazing, as is the carciofi (artichoke) with truffle oil- it’s so rich and heavenly! In true Italian fashion, the crust is actually tasty, not just something I throw aside like my pizza here, in which crust is merely sad dough without toppings. The crust at Via Napoli is spongey and light. The tiramisu is also better than most I had while in Italy- hats off to Disney for that creation!

    (ps if you get the fritto misto (mixed fried veggies, cheese, calamari), you can get the sauce mild instead of spicy the way they serve it- the spicy is just normal sauce with red pepper flakes on top)

  8. venessa says:

    Thanks for the review A.J.!

    We have a place here in our little town called Luisa’s with the owners being from Italy and their pizza is very similar with the fresh ingredients that they use. I enjoy both places! When we went there, they messed up our order by giving our neighbors the pizza we had ordered after they had sat down second to us. We had gotten our appetizer and after a while we were wondering where our pizza went to. After a while, our waiter came over and asked if everything was okay and we were “yes, the appetizer is lovely, but we also ordered some individual pizzas (which by seeing later on are perfect to share!!)” He apologized and went to see what was wrong. Well his helper or sometimes people from the kitchen will deliver the pizza to the table and like I mentioned earlier, he had given it to our neighbors haha. Because of that, our meal was on the house. and when he came back we had a large pizza instead to boot! We’ve been there over and over and it’s been nothing but friendly service from the staff. The first time we went was the only teeny mishap we had had.

  9. Pete says:

    You’re review about the Candele is spot on! That is one of the dishes I order from there every time we go and I cannot bring myself to order anything else. It’s absolutely delicious. Well, I did get the chicken parmesan once and it didn’t come as I was expecting it but it was OK. Made me wish I had Candele, though!

  10. Cindi says:

    We dined here last week and we were very disappointed. The place was so loud inside we could barely talk. The food was okay but just okay. I had the candele pasta and the proscuitto melon pizza. Sadly, the pasta was comparable to Chef Boyardee. We have had much better at the Olive Garden chain and I was expecting a comparable quality. The pizza was good. We enjoyed the flavor very much and the crust was full of flavor. The proscuitto was not cooked though and just added on top afterward. YUCK! We have a Grimaldi’s pizza here in Texas that is far superior (A Brooklyn NY pizza chain) and I guess I was comparing it to what I am used to. The tiramisu was decent and I would order it again although Olive Garden’s is better too. The restaurant is decorated nicely inside and has a lot to offer the eye. The high cathedral ceilings though seem to echo the sound throughout and it is not a quiet romantic place. This was take out quality food at exhorbitant prices. Out of all the places we have dined at so far in WDW, this one got a DNR. Do Not Return.

  11. marcellina says:

    We will be eating here on the 19th of Feb for lunch and I couldn’t be more excited! I have heard such great things about the pizza so I will definitely be ordering that but we may have to pay for a few appetizers out of pocket so we can try a little of everything. That zeppole looks amazing! I think that’s what I’m getting for dessert!

  12. Betsy says:

    I will be eating here for the first time over Memorial Day weekend!! Can’t wait. I sent this post to my travel companions so they can get equally as psyched.

  13. If you haven’t tried it, the Carciofi pizza is a must-have! The truffle oil on top is just pure deliciousness. There’s nothing else like it.

    From the drinks menu, I love to get the Americano. So refreshing!

    This is making me hungry for another visit to Via Napoli! :)

  14. Brandy says:

    This was DEFINITELY our FAVE restaurant on our trip in Dec. We’ve been to Italy so had some high expectations and this pizza was really delicious! Now I am a boring pizza person,black olives only for me so I went waaaay out of my comfort zone and ordered the Carciofi(butchering the name of course)and boy,was I glad I did!! TO DIE FOR!! My hubby had ordered the Rigatoni con crema et pollo and I tried to tell him it was silly not to get pizza and he wished he would have listened! The pasta was good but didn’t come close to the artichokey,truffley goodness that was the Carciofi! The arancini were awesome,as well as the zeppole&ugly but good sundae! We sat in the small area right before the “porch”area and we found it quite pleasant,not too noisy at all. This is at the top of our list of “must scarf at again” places at WDW!

  15. AJ says:

    Frank — Great point that the pizza at the occasionally open pizza window is different from what you receive inside! I wonder why that is!

    Pudge — Where else are you going pre-Fantasy?!? Can’t wait to hear your reviews!

    Heidi — Thanks for the heads up that they take the zeppoli off the menu during the holiday season! I had no idea!

    Eric — It IS a gem! Can’t wait to hear what you think when you finally get to stick to your ADR :-)

    Elyssa — Indeed! I agree that it stacks up to the Mom and Pop pizza I had in random little towns in Italy. What’s your favorite pizza version?

    Pete — Thanks for the corroboration on the candele!! I really enjoyed it! :-) And thanks for the tip on the chicken parm.

    Cindi — Aw, I’m so sorry you didn’t have a good experience! My husband and I LOVE Grimaldi’s here in Texas as well. It’s one of the only pizza joints we’ve found since moving here that we think stack up to our NYC favorites :-) Yep, we’re pizza snobs!

    Marci — Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

    Betsy — Woo!! Don’t forget to send them the earlier review, too — that one covers MUCH more food!

    Diane — got it! Carciofi and Americano! :-)

    Brandy — Ha ha!! “Artichokey, truffley goodness” — I love it! Indeed a “must scarf again” place!!

  16. Frank Stefanec says:

    >>The place was so loud inside we could barely talk. <>The tiramisu was decent <<

    Try at Il Mulino's @ the Swan.

  17. Greg Pabst says:

    Pizza on Walt Disney World property is pretty hard to find, and from what I have heard good pizza in Florida is hard to find since the taste is so closely tied to the quality of the water. Everyone seems to always want to compare pizza to New York pizza, but having eaten good pizza in both New York City (Lombardi’s to be specific) and in multiple places in Italy I have to say that it is better to compare the Via Napoli pizza to pizza found in Italy. Pizza in New York is good (very good, especially at Lombardi’s) but Italian pizza has a specific style and taste and Via Napoli has it nailed. As far as the pizza goes, Via Napoli provides guests VERY authentic Italian pizza.

  18. JoAnn says:

    I had the mezze rigatoni alla crema con pollo and insalata del contadino. They were both very good.

  19. Jenn says:

    We’ve now been there twice and both times.. amazing. And I’m not a huge fan of pizza normally.. we always do a split pizza – I like veggies and cheese and my husband is the meat guy.. Mine was the carciofi – white pizza with heavenly amazingness.. Seriously. Wasn’t a huge fan of the zeppoli, but thats the only thing I haven’t loved there! I have a feeling it will become a staple for us..

  20. Jaia says:

    Oh yum, this looks delicious! I’m definitely adding to my “Must Try” list for a future trip. Prosciutto and melon pizza sounds like something in need to try.

  21. AJ says:

    Greg — We love Lombardi’s and we love Via Napoli, so I think we’re multi-cultural, equal opportunity pizza eaters! :-) Seriously, though, great point on the water. Via Napoli imports theirs from Italy.

    JoAnn — Thanks for the reviews!!

    Jenn — I definitely needed more chocolate with my zeppoli! ;-)

    Jaia — Yeah!! Let us know what you think!

  22. Shayne says:

    We finally got to eat here last December and we loved it!! We had high hopes for it, after eating at Naples in DLR several times, and Via Napoli did not disappoint. We are Grimaldi’s fans as well, and Via Napoli is reminiscent of that pizza (ok, but I’ve never been to Italy, so I can’t compare it to the real thing!).

    Your pasta dish looks wonderful! I would love to try it, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to NOT eat pizza there — I *heart* their pepperoni!

  23. Anna says:

    Just made a reservation for October! Can’t wait to try the best pizza in Disney World.

  24. Queila says:

    We have reservations for Via Napoli at the end of August with the free dining plan (standard plan, not deluxe). I would like to order ONE large pizza and ONE appetizer to share between my husband and I. I have read that they are being strict about individual size pizzas only for DDP but we would be using BOTH our seat down credits. At the end of the day it would be like my husband would be getting one large pizza as his entree and I would be getting something from the appetizer menu (maybe the fried calamari) as my entree.
    Would we be allowed to do that? Did anyone ever tried? I think moneywise it would come to the same as ordering two individual size pizzas.

    Just wondering if we would be able to pull it off…

    Thanks!

  25. Vikki says:

    This may be a stupid question, but can anyone tell me which pastas are vegetarian? I’m hoping the Lasagne Verde is.. thank you!

  26. Jenny Luna says:

    I recently ate dinner here (9/11/13) and was not that impressed. I ordered the Piatti Alla Parmigiana – Pollo (chicken Parmesan for less fancy folks like me) and I was surprised by what I received. I received the largest piece of chicken breast known to man that looked like the marinara sauce was baked on and about 7 potato wedges (think KFC) and no pasta! I mean the chicken was good and so were the potatoes but, I thought it was extremely odd that I did not get pasta! Plus with the sauce being baked on, it was a little dry. Is this the new way of serving the dish?
    Thanks!

  27. June Chin says:

    The greatest restaurant I have ever dined at in my life. My husband and I made a second reservation after our first experience at Via Napoli. I am a vegetarian and the chef made a special pasta dish just for me. So delicious! Our next visit to Disney will have us eating at Via Napoli every day if possible. Ricotta balls as an appetizer – great! Eggplant and clams (my husband’s dish) were fantastic. Dessert – great gelato and risotto balls. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If we eat in Heaven, Via Napoli will be doing the cooking!

  28. Laurie says:

    June, you have convinced me to try Via Napoli!!! Thanks for the great review.

  29. Jamie says:

    June, thank you for your review because now I am convinced I must try Via Napoli on my next trip to WDW!

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *