If you’ve been keeping up with DFB for a while you’ll likely know that Via Napoli is one of our favorite spots around World Showcase in EPCOT. It was love at first bite (of pizza) and we can’t fuhgeddaboudit! Yes, we love traveling around and trying all the exotic (and often delicious) foods, but we keep coming back to our favorite pizza spot in the Italy Pavilion time and time again.
We would probably eat here more often than we should if we could. But we wouldn’t be doing our jobs of sharing EVERYTHING you can eat in Disney World, now would we? 😉 Every once in a while though, the siren song of those pizzas comes a’callin. Who are we to not answer that call? Let’s eat some ‘za!
Via Napoli is located allll the way at the back of the Italy Pavilion. You can’t miss it. Just go back until you can’t anymore. 😂
When Disney World reopened after temporarily closing due to the pandemic, markers were added to the ground in and around the restaurant. This helps ensure that guests are always properly distanced from each other while they wait to be seated for their meal.
The check-in process has also been altered due to the pandemic. Now, guests are encouraged to use Mobile Dine Check-In on the My Disney Experience app to check-in during the allotted arrival window. Once you’ve checked-in, you’ll receive a text or push notification to your phone when your table is ready asking you to proceed to the hosting desk.
After you check-in at Via Napoli, you’re welcomed by tall vaulted ceilings, elegant archways, unique light fixtures, and the smell of wood-burning pizza ovens (more on those beauties in a sec!).
The restaurant has three main dining areas. The main dining room is large and has a long communal table, as well as many smaller tables. And, there’s a smaller patio area that is also used as a dining area. The area used to serve as outdoor seating but was closed in and now has large floor-to-ceiling doors.
A newer addition to the seating area is outdoor seating. The outdoor dining area is separated by plants and is located next to the enclosed patio. Via Napoli has joined many other Disney restaurants in adding outdoor seating due to the pandemic. It’s actually pretty nice because you can enjoy your authentic Naples- style pizza with the beautiful Italy Pavilion as your background!
One of the most intriguing details at the heart of the restaurant are those GIANT wood-burning pizza ovens. Not only do these ovens produce some seriously delicious pizza, they all actually have names! Vesuvio, Etna, and Stromboli — named after three active volcanoes in Italy — help the Disney chefs make your pizza.
These ovens are the reason (well, OK, one of the reasons!) the pizza here is SO. GOOD. Great pizza needs to be cooked HOT and FAST. These ovens DELIVER. The other component that makes these pizzas taste so darn good is the level of authenticity they went to in order to create them. (Time to put on your chef hats and lab coats for a mini “why their pizza is so so SO good cooking lesson!)
The flour used here is authentic to the type of flour used in Italy. No bags of All-Purpose stuff here. This is the good stuff — Double Zero Caputo flour. Don’t know flour-speak? It just means it has a lot more gluten which makes it hold up better and produce that signature “crispy outside, chewy inside” crust worth drooling over. Ever made pizza at home and it’s…not great? The flour and the temperature you cook it is the big reasons why.
They also tested the water from the Campania region famous for creating pizza and found a local source nearly identical (it sounds weird but trust us, the water matters!). They top their pizzas with freshly handmade fior di latte mozzarella and real San Marzano tomato sauce (AKA bomb flavored, delicious, perfect Italian tomatoes that are WAY more flavorful than the normal stuff in the cans!). Moral of this mini-cooking lesson: they put in the work to make the best pizza humanly possible. And it shows. But more on that it a bit. 🙂
If you’re seated inside, you can enjoy watching the chefs cook and serve meals in the open kitchen. As for us, we got a seat on the enclosed patio to enjoy our lunch. Is your stomach growling yet? Let’s dig in!
Eats and Drinks
Like most restaurants at Disney World, Via Napoli has made their menu available via QR code. Gone are the days of paper menus! When you sit down, the server directs you to scan the QR code that is located on the placard in the middle of the table. Once you scan the code, the whole menu pulls up on your phone so you can scroll through.
The menu features appetizers, entrees, desserts, a kids menu, cocktails, wine, and beer (whew!). One BIG change we noticed was that bread is no longer free. Instead, Garlic Focaccia is now on the menu for $4.95. AND, we noticed Arancini, our long-time love (cheesy deep-fried rice balls with stuffed mozzarella. So basically, everything delicious.) is missing from the appetizer list!!
Via Napoli offers a few pasta dishes that stand up to the taste test! You know…that is if you can look past the pizza!
And now to the star of the show! Via Napoli has a variety of unique pizzas so you can find an option to please almost any palate. Want plain ol’ cheese? They got that too (but, you know, much fancier than what Pizza Hut might deliver 😆).
There’s even MORE pizza before you get to the desserts. The dessert menu has most of the items you’d think an Italian restaurant would have, including tiramisu and a cannoli.
Via Napoli’s drink menu is almost as equally as long as the food menu, starting with signature cocktails.
It wouldn’t be an Italian restaurant without a long list of wines and Via Napoli has just that! From white wines…
…to red wines…
…to sangria. They’ve got a MASSIVE selection!
There’s also a wine flight and even MORE wine!
If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic option, Via Napoli has some specialty Italian beverages.
In the past, we’ve tried a variety of specialty drinks from Via Napoli, including a Strawberry Dream Rossini that has a popsicle IN THE DRINK. Today, we decided to go with the classic Aperol Spritz for $14
Just looking at this drink we feel refreshed! This simple cocktail is made with Aperol and prosecco sparking wine topped with a fresh orange slice (traditionally in Italy, this drink is garnished with a big fat green olive too but that’s omitted here 🙂). This drink is most definitely an acquired taste. Aperol is bitterrrrr and not everyone’s cup of tea. It looks sweet but it most definitely is not. We happen to dig that complex flavor that bitter aperitifs often have, so we knew what we were getting into.
Ours lived up to its refreshing look and was a tasty mix of bitter and bubbly flavor! This is THE cocktail of many parts of Italy. It’s not uncommon to see folks sipping these all afternoon long. (We feel that.) If you prefer drinks that aren’t overly sweet then this would be a great, refreshing option! But, if you love a fruity beverage, steer clear! We suspect this has been ordered and sent back by more than a few guests not knowing what they just ordered. 😉
To start our meal off, we got a newer-to-us item, the Mozzarella Caprese. We love a good Caprese so we were curious to see how theirs stacked up.
This starter dish has fior di latte mozzarella, vine-ripened tomato, and basil and is on the menu for $12. We were surprised to see that there was no balsamic sauce to top the dish off but it was instead drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. While many traditional Caprese salads DON’T add balsamic, most at Disney World do. If the tomatoes and cheese can stand on their own though, there should be no need to punch up the flavor with vinegar. The best part of this dish, you ask? The chunks of delicious cheese! (Duh.)
Unfortunately, tomatoes aren’t in season right now, so the dish didn’t have much flavor beyond the cheese. All in all, while this is a very light starter and is still good, for the price you might want to skip it and save room for more pizza.
Cue the trumpets, we’ve made it to the pizza! We know, we know, we’ve been hyping it up this whole time — but you’re finally here! We made it! PIZZA WHOO! We’ve tried some other pizzas on the menu in the past but ordered the Proscuitto e Melone individual 10″ pizza as our main dish. And we must say, were VERY impressed with this unique combination of flavors.
This dish is a White pizza with fontina, mozzarella, prosciutto, cantaloupe, and arugula. You can order the pizza in a variety of sizes based on how many will be eating. The 10″ individual (serves 1) pizza is $26, the 20″ large (serves 2-3) pizza is $40, and the 1/2 meter mezzo metro (serves 3-4) pizza is $54. Be mindful when you’re ordering, if you have too much and need to take pizza to-go, you’ll be walking around Epcot and have a bit of a journey to get back to your resort (nothing wrong with to-go pizza as a snack as you make your way around World Showcase though!).
So, wait, there’s fruit AND meat on this pizza? That’s right! Prosciutto and melon is a common starter in Italy. It’s literally a wedge of fresh melon draped with the ham. And it’s delish. Here, the melon is thinly sliced, so no worries about chomping into a fruit salad on your pizza! The flavors from all of the ingredients combine into a sweet and salty pile of amazingness on top of the cheese-covered dough.
The crust had just the right amount of crunch and chew, proving that wood-fire stoves are still the ultimate way to cook a pizza. And, perhaps the reason we come back again and again, THE CHEESE! It’s so fresh and so flavorful. You can really tell each ingredient is top notch and they all compliment each other beautifully.
It was goooood. So good, that it’s actually one of our reporter’s all-time favorite Disney foods! But, do be warned — if you’re hoping for a traditional pizza (or if you’re a kid) this dish probably isn’t for you. The melon and prosciutto flavors are unique so it may be better fit for a more adventurous palate. Remember, they do make plenty of plain cheese pizzas too!
We somehow found more room in our stomach to give a dessert a try and chose the Cannolo Siciliano.
The dessert is a crisp pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta, chocolate, and candied orange for $10. And we have to say, this cannoli is HUGE! The photos don’t do it justice.
When you bite into the crispy pastry, you get ALL the flavors from the filling. From the menu, we originally thought that the candied oranges were only an added flavor when you got a bite of the candy at the end. But, we tasted the orange zest flavor throughout the filling alongside chocolate chips.
Good cannolis are filled to-order so the shells don’t get soggy and that was the case here. The chefs definitely didn’t leave any room for air to linger in the cannoli, as it was COMPLETELY filled!
We do prefer this cannoli to other, rather disappointing, cannolis at Disney World. (To say we’ve been underwhelmed by Disney World cannolis in the past would be an understatement!) It’s not too sweet, the little hits of candied zest and chocolate were welcome, and we were satisfied after eating it. Plus it was fresh. Though, if you’ve got room for dessert and you’re not a huge fan of cannolis, there are much better desserts elsewhere in EPCOT. We’d probably skip this dessert and head over to get some caramel-covered goodies in the Germany Pavilion.
So by our count that’s three courses full of cheese, a drink, and a very full belly. To Via Napoli in the immortal words of Patrick over on Soarin’: “Nice work, pal.”
Nosh or Not
Say “Ciao, bello!” to Via Napoli if:
- You have a group with a wide variety of palates. There are great options (like the Prosciutto e Melone pizza) for those looking to be more adventurous but also lots of classic dishes for the more picky eater. Plus, with three sizes of pizzas, you’re not trying to split a pizza into halves or fourths so everyone can get what they want.
- If you’re a pizza connoisseur on the search for the best pizza there is. You’re going to want to stop here! This continues to be one of our favorite spots for pizza at Disney World (and possibly anywhere outside of Italy!).
- you’re looking for a casual, yet nice place to dine at EPCOT. Via Napoli delivers! While the Italian atmosphere makes for a more up-scale dining feel, this restaurant has a much more leisurely and relaxed feel. You won’t feel odd with your kids or wearing flip-flops and a Mickey shirt here!
Say “arrivederci” to Via Napoli if:
- Delicious pizza and quality ingredients come at a hefty price. If you’re visiting Disney on a budget, it can be hard to justify paying so much just for pizza (even if it’s really good pizza!).
- Believe it or not, not everyone loves pizza! So much of the menu here is catered to pizza that, if that’s not your jam, you’ll be limited to a relatively small menu of other choices. Neighboring Tutto Italia is a great choice for a more wide range of Italian options.
- If you have a dairy or gluten allergy Via Napoli’s expansive menu suddenly becomes quite limited. While the restaurant does have an allergy-friendly menu, there are other locations at EPCOT that have a better menu for those with those food restrictions.
Once again, we grant Via Napoli a gold star of approval! We have been eating our way through their menu for years and we plan to keep coming back!
We just can’t stay away from the delicious wood-fired pizza, HUGE cocktail menu, and other Italian classics that they prepare so well. The food is always made with the utmost care to ensure that it is an authentic meal from Naples. On top of that, the atmosphere makes it FEEL like you’ve stepped into Naples! Our only grievance is, where the heck did the free bread go?! Though the price of the food is worth it for the quality of pizza, the free bread service was a nice addition to the meal. It will be missed.
On this visit, our server was very attentive and helpful but she was not from Italy, sadly. One of the unique aspects of eating around the World Showcase is getting to interact with Cast Members who are actually from the countries represented. We always learn something new about their country when they’re serving us but we didn’t get any stories from this visit. At least we got to eat lots of pizza and LOTS of cheese.
Overall, Via Napoli is a great dining option for families who prefer a more traditional experience during their visit to EPCOT! If you love pizza, this should definitely make its way on your must-do list.
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Have you been to Via Napoli? Tell us what you think of the food in the comments!