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Guest Review: Lunch at Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Today, we’re traveling to Epcot’s Italy Pavilion for lunch at Via Napoli in this guest review by Julie B.!

Buongiorni a tutti! I want to tell you about one of my favorite places for lunch in all of Disney World: Via Napoli, located in the Italy pavilion of World Showcase.

Via Napoli is a relatively recent addition to the dining options of Epcot (and part of a major restaurant overhaul in Italy’s pavilion over the past few years).

This pizzeria doesn’t disappoint when enlightening diners with the true wonders of Neapolitan pizza.

Via Napoli!

Atmosphere

The first thing you should know about Via Napoli is that it’s huge, and I mean HUGE! When you walk into the main dining room you’ll notice that it’s very wide but also features sky-high ceilings. This does create a lot of echoing, so Via Napoli is not the best place to come for an intimate meal (but it’s great if you’ve got kids who need to blow off some steam).

The large dining room.

A benefit of those high ceilings is that they have large windows and allow the room to be bathed in natural light. It’s one of the main reasons I love to dine here for lunch instead of dinner.

Another one of my favorite parts of the restaurant’s large size is the center table that stretches across the whole room. If you’re seated at this table, you’ll be right next to other parties, hinting at the Italian tradition of family dining. In Italy, food and family go hand in hand and Via Napoli has brought that beautiful tradition to Epcot.

Center table at Via Napoli.

Before you sit down (or at least before you leave after your meal), make sure to stroll past the open kitchen where you can watch the chefs preparing your pizzas.

The Art of Pizza Making!

Behind them are three wood fired ovens, aptly named after the three volcanoes of Italy: Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna. I love that each oven has its own personality apparent in the expression on the faces!

Gorgeous pizza ovens!

Eats

Via Napoli is primarily a pizzeria, but they do have more options on the menu.

We tried the minestrone soup. It’s not your typical red color because it’s a vegetable-based broth instead of tomato-based like most American minestrones. The flavor was mild and enjoyable.

Minestrone Soup.

After, we split the Frito Misto, a platter of fried vegetables, calamari, mozzarella, and arancini (fried risotto balls stuffed with meat and cheese — yum!).

This comes with a spicy tomato sauce for dipping (if you don’t like spicy, you can ask for a mild version without red pepper flakes). This is a perfect starter to share with everyone at the table. Everything was warm and fresh, but not oily. The breading was perfect and light, yet added an awesome crunch to the softer foods.

On the menu it says that this is for two people, but four of us still had some left on the plate when we were done!

Frito Misto

Maybe that’s because we knew we had to save room for our pizzas! Via Napoli offers three different sizes of pizza: individual, large (serves 2-3), and mezzo metro (serves 3-5).

Delicious signature pies!

Our first pizza was the Capriciossa with eggplant, artichokes, prosciutto, and mushrooms. The saltiness of the prosciutto was a perfect contrast to the earthy eggplant and mushrooms!

Capriciossa Pizza

Pizza number two is my absolute favorite – Prosciutto e Melone pizza, a white pizza (no sauce) featuring fontina cheese, mozzarella, prosciutto, cantaloupe, and arugula. I know, I know, you’re thinking “Cantaloupe on a pizza?!” But trust me, this combo is golden!

Between the saltiness of the cheese (count that — TWO cheeses! Mmmmm cheese!), the meatiness of the prosciutto, peppery flavor of the arugula, and sweetness of the cantaloupe, it’s pure poetry for your mouth! One bite and I do a little happy dance in my seat! I have no other way to explain this crazy combo except that it’s sweet/salty perfection to the max!

Prosciutto e Melone pizza

Prosciutto e Melone Pizza Close Up

We didn’t order it on this trip, but on past visits I’ve also tried the Carciofi pizza, a white pizza with artichoke, fontina, mozzarella, and truffle oil. This pizza has truffle oil… enough said, I’ll eat it! You could put truffle oil on just about anything and I’ll love it! Plus when the extra oil runs off the side of the slices, you can rip off the crust from the pizza and dip it. Now that’s my idea of bread and oil!

Speaking of that crust, these pizzas are not your Average Joe pizzas. They’re made to meet the strictest requirements from Naples in everything from ingredients to style of preparation. They actually import the water used in the crust from a location that matches the water in Naples! Ordinarily I don’t care for pizza crust — it doesn’t have any of the toppings!- but this crust is mild, soft, and delicious. If a crust-hater like me cleans her plate, they’ve got to be doing something right!

Pizzas are made to match ingredients used in Italy!

After all of this Italian deliciousness, we were completely stuffed and didn’t have room for dessert this time. But if you fancy a little sweetness after your meal, the house-made tiramisu is delicious!

Tiramisu!

Overall

Having lived in Italy for four months, I sometimes yearn for the amazing pizzas I got so accustomed to there. In all my searching in the United States, this is easily the most authentic Italian pizza I have found! Everything from the flavor combinations to the style of cooking are perfect.

If you’re looking for a fun stop in World Showcase to cool off (house-made blood orange or strawberry fruit coolers or a pitcher of sangria are good for that) and enjoy a delicious lunch, bring your appetite and enjoy a true taste of Italy!

What’s your favorite pizza pie at Via Napoli? Let us know in the comments below!

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22 Comments

  1. melissa creel says:

    We eat at Via Napoli every time we go to Disney World. Sometimes twice. It is at the top of our list and a “Must DO”, every time we go. Everything is always amazing.

  2. Heidi Bilotti says:

    You missed my favorite dish. The chicken Parm can just not be beat anywhere on property. It is served with lovely roasted potatoes. Delish can’t wait to go back

  3. Has to be the Carciofi! That truffle oil is what dreams are made of! :-)

  4. Jane says:

    Love the Quattro Formaggi! Best pizza I have ever had.

  5. Niki M says:

    My husband and I usually order two appetizers and an “individual” size pizza. It’s plenty of food for two people, affordable, and gives us a good assortment of things to try. Then we blow the affordability factor by ordering a limonata for each of us lol oh well.

  6. Dana says:

    I’ve never eaten here before, but it sounds wonderful! We’ve always skipped it because I have a gluten allergy, and we assumed there wasn’t anything I could eat there. Do you know if they have any gluten free goodies?

  7. SharonCW says:

    The Margharita pizza is my favorite, but I also love the eggplant. I am in love with this place. Plus, the eye candy is fabulous!

  8. Carol says:

    Love, love, love this place! Our favourite (so far) pizza is the Quatro Frommagi, absolutely delicious! The Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni sundae they offer is one of my favourite desserts on property, love it!

  9. AJ says:

    Melissa Creel — Yay!! So glad you enjoy it! This is one restaurant we can’t ever wait to get back to!

    Heidi Bilotti — YES! We love that dish as well! Thanks for the great review and reminder!

    Diane — Ha ha! Thanks for your review!

    Jane — Me, too! That’s always my go-to option!

    Niki M — Such a great idea. Definitely a cost savings (and a calorie savings!). And I can’t ever pass up that Italian Margarita, so we’ll just pretend that (and the limonata) doesn’t count!

    Dana — They’ve been pretty bad in the past about substitutions, honestly, so I don’t know how they’d be on gluten-free items. I’ll have to check that out for ya, because I don’t want you to miss this place!

    SharonCW — Yay! Agreed the eye candy is pretty nice from time to time. ;-D

  10. Pamela says:

    Is this restaurant owned/ run by the same company as “Naples” in Dowtown Disneyland is? How do the restaurants compare?

  11. Jen says:

    Could you tell me the approximate diameters of the three sizes? Is the individual more american (8″) or italian (14″)? Everything sounds so good! Can’t wait to try this place this fall!!

  12. Marlene says:

    Zeppole di Caterina for dessert!
    The Ricotta cheese fritters come in a conical basket, served with a side pitcher of chocolate sauce AND a side pitcher of whipped cream for $10.00
    Yum, yum.

    The Candele is a totally different presentation than last year, but still very good.
    Still made with candle stick pasta, with sausage ragu, polpettine meatballs, mozzarella, and ricotta.
    But comes looking like a rectangle of lasagna (probably helps with prep and serving?), rather than a composed presentation on the plate.

    The noise level can be very high here.
    We think it is a little less noisy in the areas with the lower ceilings?
    Or maybe it depends on the noise level of the tables surrounding you.

  13. A Newton says:

    “Another one of my favorite parts of the restaurant’s large size is the center table that stretches across the whole room.”

    Have to say… I really hated this. We were seated during a very early, and not very busy, dinner. So many regular tables open, but we were seated right at the end of the “family” dining table. We kinda shrugged and thought, “ok, well, surely they won’t pack us in here when there are so may empty tables right?” Nope, shortly after we got our food they seated a couple directly across from us so we were staring at stranger the whole time. 50 empty chairs at that table and we were eatting with strangers. And they reached across the table and used our salt/pepper and parmesan cheese. Terriblyl uncomfortable for us, and we left wishing we’d just asked to be moved.

  14. tkcanada68 says:

    I’ve eaten here several times and it’s always delicious. The melon/prosciutto pizza is my favorite, too! All of the pizza sizes are very generous. I ate here with my mom last month and we split the eggplant caponata appetizer (which was excellent) and an individual size pizza. It was more than enough for the 2 of us. They make excellent cappuccino, too (and it comes with a small, thin biscotti). The servers are very friendly and make me personally want to jump on the next plane to Italy! But I’ll settle for Epcot Italy for now :)

  15. Laurie says:

    Love love love this place! Pizza and sangria its a great place

  16. AJ says:

    Dana — Here’s some info we found on allergymouse.com re gluten free at Via Napoli: I saw the cross-contamination warning on a few sites. Chef recommends that Tutto Italia has less risk of cross-contamination.

    “The General Manager at Via Napoli has advised us that they will not have Gluten free Pizza. However, they will have gluten free bread, a good selection of salads, rice brown pasta with three different kind of sauces, white cream with chicken and pea or seafood, pomodoro or white sauce with cheese and butter.

    They can also have a grilled chicken breast with advance notice (please add this request to your Guest Allergy-Dietary Request Form).

    As a dessert they can make a nice fruit cocktail, or a gluten free brownie.

    Just a reminder, their kitchen is an open concept kitchen and flour goes everywhere in their restaurant in small amounts, so cross contamination is very much a possibility.”

  17. Lucy says:

    In the fritto misto the fried vegetables, what kind of vegetable are they?

  18. Andrew says:

    I really wish Disney restaurants could be more consistent. I don’t doubt that Via Napoli makes some tasty pies. But both times I’ve been, my pizzas have been undercooked, soggy, and doughy. I really want it to be good, but it just really misses the mark. I can go to Anthony’s coal fire pizza and have a pie thats of a higher quality for a much lower price. I’ve been very disappointed both times dining here. A medium pizza, salad, and kids meal for $80? Where is the value in that?

  19. Janel says:

    Im from Jersey… surrounded by Italian restaurants… So Im not sure if this would be a worth while restaurant for me… is it really that different from pizza at a local pizzeria?

  20. Niki M says:

    @Janel, the pizza is thin crust hand tossed with more variety of flavors than a typical pizzeria. It’s also about atmosphere here with those cool ovens, pretty wall murals, and lemon trees outside the windows. At busier times of the year they sell by the slice at the window. It would be a good way to try the pizza to see if you like it.

  21. melissa creel says:

    I don’t know about the complaints but my husband and son gets pizza almost every time we go. I have also tried the pasta with cream sauce,(can’t remember the name), and the veal and chicken parmigiana. All just wonderful. The pizza crust was perfect, not soggy, but not burned like a black brittle cracker. We don’t like that. And all 3 of us ate for 70.00 without tip. We got chicken parm, veal parm, margarita pizza, 3 drinks, and dessert of 2 zepolle, and the teramisu. It just does not feel like a Disney trip without a couple of visits there.

  22. M.Merchant says:

    Janel, it won’t be like a neighborhood pizzeria in Jersey. We were stationed in Naples and the Via Napoli pizzas are pretty close to neighborhood pizzerias in southern Italy. Jersey/New York pizzas are entirely different things.

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