If you’ve been following along at DFB for a while, you know that Via Napoli stole a pizza our hearts from the beginning. Even though there are plenty of exotic foods all around the World Showcase in Epcot, we find ourselves being drawn back to their classic Italian dishes time and again.
It’s like a trusted friend or coming home after a long time away — it’s become a reliable and comfortable staple for us. So you won’t be surprised that we snuck another trip back to Via Napoli into our last trip to Disney World! We are reporting back on whether one of our favorite pizza spots lived up to our cheesy expectations!
Via Napoli is in the large building located in the back of the Italy Pavilion — and the size of the facade is not all for show.
Inside you’ll find vaulted ceilings, large archways, and intricate light fixtures.
There is a large dining room with a long communal table between several smaller tables; and there’s a smaller dining room off to the side that used to be outdoor seating, but has since been closed in with big, floor-to-ceiling doors to bring the outside in.
In the back of the large dining room, a section has been walled off into a dining room of its own (this is new from when the restaurant first opened). This is where we were seated. It’s a little bit quieter than the main, cavernous dining room.
Most tables in the main dining room will be able to see the three pizza ovens that are really the stars of the show. The ovens are named for the three Italian volcanoes, Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna, and we bow at their pie-making prowess.
You can even catch a glimpse of your pizza’s progress through the open kitchen (blow it a kiss, whisper sweet nothings — we won’t judge)!
Now remember that the magic in the pizzas not only comes from the work of those three giant pizza ovens, but because the chefs use Italian flour and water sourced from a spring similar those in the Campania region.
These special steps give the pizzas their unique flavor that is so difficult to replicate at home (and in other pizza joints).
Eats and Drinks
Speaking of pizza, should we take a peek at the menu?? We started with a drink as we decided how many appetizers we could eat while still saving room for pizza (we live life in the fast, er, cheese-filled lane, no biggie).
Since we always grab a special, we tried the obvi highlighted Earth Cocktail, with Tito’s, Midori, Orange Juice, and Pineapple Juice.
This one looked so yummy — vodka? GOOD, Midori? GOOD, Juice? GOOD! ;-D But, sadly, it didn’t have the flavor or tartness we were expecting and looking for. It was overall just kind of blah and boring. Not sure if it wasn’t a good mix or what. It wasn’t particularly strong, so we can’t blame there not being enough juice for there being no flavor. If you tried this one, let us know your thoughts!
As we were sipping on our drinks, we ordered apps and the food started to roll in!
You know we had to return to our old friend, the Arancini! These risotto balls are stuffed with mozzarella and meat ragú then fried until lightly crispy.
They were served on top of marinara sauce and topped with parmesan cheese. These little babies were $14, and in the past we’ve seen three to a serving. This time around, we received two larger Arancini, but you’ll definitely still want to share with a friend!
Unfortunately, on this visit, these didn’t have all the oomph they’d had on previous visits. The textures were still all there — we love a good risotto!) — but the flavor was flat. (Starting to think our taste buds were broken? Us, too!)
On a previous trip, we hacked our way to our next appetizer by turning to the Children’s Menu!
The Bocconcini are fried mozzarella bites that we still dream of long after our Disney World trips.
These give us major flashbacks to the cheese curds that used to grace Liberty Tree Tavern, and these bites of cheese were soft, rich, melty, and coated in the perfectly light layer of crunch. (Why do kids get all the good stuff?!?)
They were served with marinara sauce, which made for the perfect dunk.
We ended up running out of Bocconcini before we finished the marinara sauce, but we couldn’t waste it! So we ordered up a Garlic Foccacia Bread Basket and kept on dunking away!
These yummy bites were topped with garlic, oregano, and olive oil.
Now, $4.55 is a steep price for something that — let’s be honest — should just come automatically with the meal. But it WAS delicious. So if you can get over your true and just knowledge that bread should be freely given…and if you LOVE bread…this is a good buy. There’s plenty for a group of four.
On this visit, we ordered a pizza and pasta entree to share because pepperoni FOMO is real.
We started off with the Pollo Parmigiana (chicken parmesan or chicky chicky parm parm, if you prefer).
THIS WAS HEAVEN.
We received a jumbo breaded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and a blanket of mozzarella cheese.
Although we’ve seen this entree served with roasted potatoes in the past, ours was served sans taters on top of spaghetti pomodoro (noodles with red mater sauce).
Everything about this was perfect. The chicken was thicker than you normally see with a pounded, breaded cutlet, and it was massive. Seriously — this was enough food to feed a family of four easily. But every bite was delicious, and you know we finished every single drop.
Now, at last we’ve made it…to the reason we keep coming back: pepperoni cups. Well, at least that’s how they look once they’ve taken a trip through the volcanic heat of Stromboli, Vesuvio, or Etna. Those glorious pepp cups that are all crispy and greasy and delicious? That’s the goal, my friends.
You can do a create your own type situation if you prefer, but we wouldn’t dare stray from our fave! The Pepperoni Pizza arrived with a wonderful thin crust, sprinkled with little pepperoni [cups], and thankfully graced with much more cheese than some of our previous ventures. The crust was light and crispy, the sauce was as flavorful as we remembered, and the spice from the pepperoni was definitely not something you can find in any ole Lunchables.
You may have noticed that a pizza can set you back $34, but before you settle for the crushed pack of crackers at the bottom of your backpack, take a minute to think it through. Via Napoli serves three sizes of pizzas: 10″ individual, 20″ large (serves 2-3), and 1/2 meter mezzo metro (serves 3-4).
So since a medium sized pizza can easily fill up two adults, so then you’re only looking at $17 a person. Yes, it can be hefty for pizza, but in Disney World, that rivals even some quick service locations! Sharing is caring, especially at Via Napoli! Or if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan and you order pizza to split, one table service credit will be deducted from each guests’ total.
We’ve been coming to Via Napoli for years, and even despite the rare hiccups, we plan to keep coming back for years to come.
We can’t resist their appetizers (how could we resist fried cheese TWO ways) and the pizza is reliably delicious. The menu has plenty of options so there’s a good chance everyone in your party can find something to enjoy.
The atmosphere is comfortable, even though it can get a little loud in the main dining room. In our opinion, it wins over Tutto Italia Ristorante next door, but prices can add up so make sure you strategize on who is teaming up with you to tackle that pizza!
On this visit, service was extremely kind, but slow (pretty typical for Via Napoli). And we had those little hiccups with the drink and the arancini not really being worth the cost in terms of flavor. But the entrees made up for these in our eyes, and even though Via Napoli is one of our favorites (so we’re a little biased) our visit was good enough that we would have no question about making another reservation in the future.
Overall, it’s a great way to enjoy familiar options with a more traditional approach during your Epcot visit!
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Have you ever been to Via Napoli? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!