One word: PIZZA!
Two more: VIA NAPOLI!!
Okay, so we’re having more than “just pizza” at Via Napoli today (even though it still easily takes the top spot on our Best Pizza in Disney World list by a mile). We’ll also be trying some soups, pasta… and maybe even a little vino while we’re at it.
No matter what I order, though, I look forward to my Advance Dining Reservation for Via Napoli — tucked in the back of Epcot’s Italy Pavilion — on every Disney World trip without fail (especially when my husband’s with me — this is a MUST for him). Not only does it serve up the Best Pizza in all of Disney World, but it also earns gold stars in my book for a pretty rare accolade from me: it is consistently good food.
Stepping into Via Napoli for the first time, you’ll likely be struck by a couple of things.
First, just the sheer size of the main room, thanks to the high ceilings and abundance of seating options for what has come to be a pretty popular spot.
And second — all the SOUND! The cavernous room and non-carpeted flooring make for a fairly loud dining experience. I’ve come to expect it and now it feels almost festive rather than distracting, but it’s good to know there is also a slightly quieter covered patio that is a bit more peaceful.
No matter where you’re seated, it’s totally worth taking a few minutes to stop by and say “Hello” to Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna: the themed wood-fired pizza ovens inspired by volcanoes in Italy.
This is where all the pizza-making magic happens!
It’s fun to watch, but it sure does make you hungry… So, what are we waiting for? Buon appetito!
As you can tell from the prominence of the ovens, pizza is the absolute star of the show at Via Napoli. But man does not live by pizza alone… so let’s check out that Wine and Cocktail list 😉 .
You gotta hand it to ’em… they have managed to make some downright tempting cocktails: drinks like the classic-with-a-twist Lemon Drop (vodka and Limoncello over shaved ice), a Sicilian Sunset (vodka and orangecello this time, served with juices over shaved ice), a Tiramisu Martini and a Cannoli Martini, just to name a few (though I might save either of those last two for a dessert cocktail). And though it wasn’t on the list this time, the Italian Margarita still rotates on and off the menu here.
Ultimately, I opted for the far more simple — but really refreshing — White Sangria, made with Italian wines and fresh fruit.
By the way, you can find beer options listed on the food menu, along with the appetizers, pastas, and — of course — pizza.
We began our meal with the Salame e Provolone from the small plates. The fresh cheese and cured sausage nicely serve their purpose of whetting your appetite for what’s to come. Though the presentation of the sausage is different from visits past (do my eyes deceive me, or is it a bit smaller?) the strong, hearty provolone never disappoints.
Even on a hot day, the soups were calling my name, starting with the savory Tortellini in Brodo: beef tortellini (and lots of it!) and spinach in a simple broth. The amount of tortellini nearly made for a meal in itself.
The Pasta e Fagioli is your standard pasta and bean soup. I was surprised by how heavy on the broth my serving was.
The white beans and pasta were pretty typical, but fresh.
Now here’s the thing: we make a pretty big deal of Via Napoli pizza around here, because –frankly — it’s well deserved. And believe me, we’ll be getting to another beautiful pie here shortly. But you may be surprised to learn that the pasta dishes at Via Napoli should not be overlooked. This time I went with the Paccheri alla Crema con Pollo, a rich, decadent cream sauce over pasta and chicken.
It’s difficult to spy, but there are bits of pancetta (Italian bacon made from pork belly) mixed in as well, adding extra bursts of flavor to the creamy mix. This was one of those dishes that I didn’t plan on finishing, but I couldn’t help taking more bites! It was deeeelicious! I’m always pleasantly surprised by the simple-but-excellent pasta dishes here.
But then, of course, there is the piece de resistance! Presenting the Piccante Signature Pizza: tomato sauce, Italian spicy sausage, and mozzarella.
It bears repeating that one of the things that makes the pizza such a standout is the thin crust, made with flour imported directly from Italy (not to mention water sourced from a similar spring to those in the Campania region) and nicely charred in the wood-fire ovens by their two-minute visit inside those volcanoes.
There is beauty in the simplicity of the few ingredients. Delicious crust, a thin layer of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and your chosen toppings.
I enjoyed the mildly spicy sausage, but it’s really hard to go wrong with any pizza here no matter how you top it.
We didn’t have room for dessert after all of that, but there are some worthy ones at Via Napoli.
And that’s a wrap on another visit to Via Napoli!
As you can tell, we really love this place. The only drawback? The price. It’s up there, so you have to reconcile yourself to that fact before you go or you’ll just be annoyed the whole time. 😉
While a few of the non-pizza dishes may be take-or-leave (excellent pasta notwithstanding), the star entree just can’t be beat. Add some fun cocktails, a festive atmosphere, and the chance to watch some excellent pizza chefs at work during your visit, and you’ve got yourself a memorable meal in World Showcase.
Have you visited Via Napoli? Please let us know about your experience with a comment!