, how do I love thee? Shall we count the ways?
Seriously, I would, but it would take too long. Since this Table Service restaurant opened in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion seven years ago, I’ve been among its biggest fans. I love the decor, with those massive pizza ovens named for Italian volcanoes, the huge open space with arches and chandeliers, and the colorful frescoes on the walls and ceilings.
Oh, and did I mention there’s PIZZA involved, too? Via Napoli easily tops my list for serving up the Best Pizza in Disney World. It’s pretty much become one of those spots I visit whenever I have an excuse to do so.
On my most recent visit, we started with a couple of drinks. And there is no shortage of options at Via Napoli. There are cocktails, signature drinks, and, of course, lots of vino.
And have you ever checked out the Daily Drink Specials? Who doesn’t love a Wine Flight?
On my visit, the Limoncello Mule was available for a limited time.
I’d seen this on social media and HAD to try it. Mules are so trendy right now, and I think they’re delicious, so win-win.
The Limoncello Mule is comprised of Skyy Vodka, Limoncello, orange juice, pineapple juice, peach puree, lime juice, and ginger beer. And if the description isn’t enough to sway you, check out the garnish!
The Limoncello Mule is as delicious — fruity, tart, tipsy — as it is cute. Hello, Mickey!
But diners do not subsist on cocktails alone at Via Napoli! There are plenty of tempting options all over the menu.
But it’s honestly difficult to veer from some of our tried-and-true favorites.
Pasta e Fagioli is a classic… and, yes, it’s available at pretty much every Italian restaurant I — and likely you — have ever been to.
But I do really enjoy it here. The broth is heartily savory, and it is packed with white beans, small noodles, and veggies. The folks at Via Napoli sprinkle a little grated parm on top for a little something extra.
So the soup is a solid start. But the next starter… well, it’s a bit more indulgent. Check out the Bocconcini, and allow me to translate for you. That’s Fried Mozzarella there, folks!
These always remind me of the Fried Cheese Curds that used to be available at Liberty Tree Tavern. And it was a sad day when those vanished from the menu. So this option at Via Napoli — which, by the way, you’ll find listed under the Children’s Entrees — most definitely scratches that itch. Just look at it…
Rich, gooey, and melted just right, the already terrific curds are perfect with the paired marinara. But it’s the light golden breading that differentiates these from your typical Mozz Sticks. Plan accordingly, because you may want to pick up a couple of orders. (If you get one for just yourself, you’ll be fending off your tablemates once they get a load of these.)
Pizza is, of course, a must. And though a large Pepperoni Pizza doesn’t sound all that exciting when you consider all of the options in World Showcase, this is hardly your typical pie. Check out the curled, crisped, and spicy Old World pepperoni pieces that get all crunchy in the volcano pizza ovens and that creamy mozzarella cheese. (And yes, my husband couldn’t wait to try a piece before I took the pic. ;-D)
But, as always, it’s the ever-so-slightly charred thin crust that really makes the pizza at Via Napoli a special experience. The flour to create it is imported directly from Italy, but even more so it’s the water that makes the difference (it’s sourced from a spring that is similar to those in the Campania region). It’s Via Napoli’s own work of art, fired for just under 2 minutes in the volcano ovens.
And, hey, here’s a tip: a large pepperoni is going to run you $33.00. Polish this thing off between two people (or more, if you load up on some Fried Mozzarella), and if you split it down the middle that’s $16.50 apiece. And THAT is what lands Via Napoli on our Top Disney World Meals Under $20 list!
If you do decide to forgo a pizza, though, you might want to opt for the Piatti Alla Parmigiana con Pollo, or Chicken Parmesan. The Via Napoli version is served with roasted potatoes.
This is usually wonderful, but on this visit it didn’t quite live up to expectations. But since this is the first time that Via Napoli has disappointed me, I’ll try it one more time before I put the kibosh on this one.
Nosh or Not?
You’ll definitely want to make that coveted Via Napoli ADR if:
- You love pizza and want to try authentic Italian pie.
- Via Napoli’s location fits in your World Showcase strategy.
- You’re not a super adventurous eater, but you want to immerse yourself in a World Showcase dining experience.
You can skip Via Napoli if:
- You’re not a big fan of pizza or Italian food in general.
- Spending a lot of time in World Showcase isn’t in your strategy.
- You’re an adventurous eater and don’t think pizza is the World Showcase dining experience you’re looking for.
The verdict remains the same: I’ll always make room in my trip for Via Napoli. It’s become a little bit like home, even though it’s still “new” (relatively speaking, that is!) among World Showcase Table Service options. It’s also become one of my go-to choices for recommendations for friends planning a trip to Epcot. So if you still haven’t experienced a meal at Via Napoli, trust that it comes VERY highly recommended, and may just become part of your Epcot traditions as well.
Is Via Napoli on your list of World Showcase must-visits? Please let us know with a comment!