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REVIEW: Via Napoli Ristorante and Pizzeria in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Via Napoli Full Review

Since its opening in 2010, Via Napoli has always been a go-to spot for us to eat in Walt Disney World.  I mean who doesn’t love Pizza first of all?  And besides that, it’s always had a fun-loving atmosphere that the Italian people are so well known for.  Via Napoli is by far one of the most popular restaurants in WDW and has a big reputation among the Disney community.  So especially now that I live part of the year in Italy (my wife is Italian), I thought it would be fun to take her here to do a Via Napoli full review to see if it is still as good as past visits…

Via Napoli is a Table Service Restaurant in the Italy Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, and run by the Patina Group which owns and runs over 45 restaurants all over the world, including 6 in Downtown Disney in Disneyland California, and Tutto Italia and Morimoto Asia in Walt Disney World.  Click here to read my Morimoto Asia Full Review.

Via Napoli focuses on Authentic Italian Cuisine with great Appetizers, Main Dishes and Desserts.  But what most come here for is the Pizza!  They offer Individual, Large and Mezzo Metro size Pizzas.  Being a Table Service Restaurant you will need to spend 1 Table Dining Credit if you are using the Disney Dining Plan.  It does participate in Tables in Wonderland which gives you a %20 discount on your food and drinks, which was very helpful to us as we always have a big group.  Via Napoli accepts ADR’s 180 Days in advance and I would highly recommend doing just that!  You may be able to find a table if you wait, especially if you have a small group, but it’s a risky proposition as this place is one of the 5 Most Busy Restaurants in Walt Disney World!

Tip: While you can use the Disney Dining Plan at Via Napoli, in my opinion it’s not worth it for the Pizza because if you order any pizza besides an individual one, they take away 1 Dining Credit per person at the table.  So your better off all ordering Individual size ones, or buying a big one and paying out of pocket.

So let’s get down to it…

Atmosphere:

Via Napoli is located in Epcot’s World Showcase, on the far side of the lagoon, in between Germany and The American Adventure.  After a nice stroll, you finally get to the Italy Pavilion:

Via Napoli Full Review

This is by far one of my favorite pavilions in World Showcase, and since we live part of the year in Italy, it’s like coming home for us.  The pavilion here is designed after Piazza San Marco in Venice, and does a really nice job making you feel as if you are really there.  There’s even a bit of Rome thrown in with a mini Trevi Fountain:

Via Napoli Full Review

Overall Italy is really one of my favorite parts of World Showcase, but that’s another story for another day!  Towards the back of Italy is where Via Napoli is located.  It’s tucked in the back all by itself..

Via Napoli Full Review

Right when you enter you are greeted by the main desk, and as you look up you can see a stunning multi-colored chandelier…pink, green, blue, yellow, it’s all sorts of fun and puts me right in the mood for a good evening!

Via Napoli Full Review

When you enter into the Main Dining Room, right away you can see the size.  Via Napoli holds about 300 guests at a time.  There are big long tables, enough for about 30 people, and much smaller ones for 4, 6 or 8.

Via Napoli Full Review

Notice the high vaulted ceilings, about 30 feet to the top.  Also the tremendous archways in between the columns in the middle of the room, making it very spacious and open feeling.  There are also big windows all around the restaurant, which allows a lot of light to enter.  The restaurant itself is quite loud and isn’t the right place if you are looking for a quiet, intimate evening with your significant other.  Via Napoli is full of energy and hustle and bustle.

Via Napoli Full Review

The beautifully painted frescoes on the walls are really amazing, and again make the environment a joyous one, full of color and life.  If you prefer to be away from the center you can always ask for one of the tables more isolated.

Via Napoli Full Review

Separate from the Main Dining Room is a covered patio area which I would say holds around 80 people.

Via Napoli Full Review

All around you will find reminders that your in Italy.  You can see paintings representing each of the main cities in Italy, including these from Milan and Verona…

Via Napoli Full Review

Firenze too…(Florence)

Via Napoli Full Review

Probably the coolest part of the whole place is the Open Kitchen.  Here you can watch the Via Napoli Chefs go to work creating masterpieces for you right before your eyes.  I love just going over nearby and seeing all the action with waiters running back and forth getting orders from the chefs.

One unique feature is the Wood-fired Ovens where they make the Pizzas…just like in Naples.  There are three of them, each named for one of Italy’s active Volcanoes:

Via Napoli Full Review

First there’s Stromboli, one of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic arc north of Sicily:

Via Napoli Full Review

Etna, located in Sicily:

Via Napoli Full Review

And the most infamous of the all, Vesuvio:

Via Napoli Full Review

Here’s one of the Pizzaioli (pizza makers) hard at work.  One of the things I really like is that everyone is friendly here, I was able to go over and talk with them no problem and they showed me how they made the pizzas:

Via Napoli Full Review

I finally made my way over to our table, which was the big one since we had a huge group:

Via Napoli Full Review

One of the things I really appreciated at our table was the beautifully hand-painted ceramics that were embedded into the table itself:

Via Napoli Full Review

They’re intricately designed tiles, each representing a different part of Italy…

Via Napoli Full Review

Of course Rome is on there…

Via Napoli Full Review
Via Napoli Full Review

I have to say, the atmosphere is nice here.  Obviously it isn’t the most romantic restaurant in WDW, but if you are looking for a good time, especially with kids or the whole family you will probably really enjoy it.  Also all the servers were super friendly and they just loved the fact they were able to speak in Italian with us as they are living here away from home for one year.  We even met a few who are from Bergamo like us! 🙂

On to the good stuff:

Food:

The menu at Via Napoli has a lot of variety of Italian food.  They basically made a “Best Hits List” of the most popular foods from the different regions of Italy.  If you’ve been to different parts of Italy before then you know how when going to Venice you will eat completely different than when you’re in Rome (unless you only eat at the tourist traps made to attract foreigners and clean your wallet).  In fact Italy really has one of the widest variety of cuisines you will find anywhere, and it’s so nice to go around and try the local specialties when you are there.  Via Napoli does a decent job representing theses foods on the menu:

For Appetizers you will see classic dishes such as: Arancini, Calamari Fritti and Prosciutto and Melone.  There are some nice Pasta dishes too like Lasagna Verde, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and a variety of Parmigiana plates too.

However what you come to Via Napoli for is the Pizza!

What makes this pizza so special?  The secret like any authentic Italian recipe lies in the ingredients.  If you’ve been to Florida before you know the water is absolutely terrible and doesn’t make for good pizza dough.  Instead at Via Napoli, they import water with a high Alkaline content from two special springs elsewhere in the U.S. which is chemically close to the water you will find in Naples.  Besides the water they also use Flour imported from Italy as well as San Marzano Tomatoes that come from the Naples area.  All this makes the pizzas come out closer to the real thing in Italy.

Some of the varieties of pizza they offer are: Quattro Formaggi (mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, provolone), Carciofi (Artichoke, pecorino, mozzarella, truffle oil), Piccante (tomato sauce, mozzarella, Italian spicy sausage), and Capricciosa (tomato suace, mozzarella, eggplant, artichokes, ham, mushrooms)

There are 3 different sizes: Individual 10″, Large 20″(Serves 2-3), and a Mezzo Metro which is Half a Meter (Serves 4-5).  The first thing I noticed about these pizzas was the high prices.  For a Pepperoni Pizza of each size your looking at: $21 for a 10″, $33 for a Large and $45 for a Mezzo Metro.  Now obviously Disney prices are already jacked-up, then on top of it you’re paying for all the importing they have to do to have the ingredients be top notch, so this is a steep price to pay for Pizza.  Let’s see if it’s worth it…

Via Napoli Full Review

The drink menu is quite extensive with some nice Cocktails, Italian Sodas and Beers available, as well as an excellent Italian Wine list.  Again that list comes at a steep price with most of the bottles being very expensive.  Again I know they import but some of the prices seem exaggerated to me.  I know for us it sure isn’t worth it to get wine here when we can get the same bottles in our Italian grocery store for  1/4 of the cost here.  I understand not everyone lives in Italy like us, but still if you are a fan of Italian Wines I think you’re better off looking elsewhere and saving a ton of $.

Via Napoli Full Review

You’re better off sticking to the Cocktails or like us the Sangria ($25):

Via Napoli Full Review

We split the Sangria which is a blend of Italian wine (white or red) and fresh fruit.  We split the pitcher between 4 of us and for $25 turned out to be the best deal.  The Sangria itself was decent.  It was light and refreshing, but in my opinion a bit too watered-down.  My wife didn’t like it really at all, while my sister goes crazy for it.  So to each his own.  I just think it could have been a bit stronger.

Via Napoli Full Review

They do fill the pitcher to the brim and there’s plenty to share for sure!

Via Napoli Full Review

Jelani and Nick were eagerly waiting for their Pizzas…

Via Napoli Full Review

Meanwhile Ryan as usual couldn’t make up his mind what he wanted…

Via Napoli Full Review

We had to wait a good amount of time for our Pizzas, and it didn’t seem like there was an extremely high amount of people there that night.

The Pizzas finally came!  As a table we got a few Mezzo Metros and a Large.  This was the Mezzo Metro 1/2 Sausage 1/2 Margherita ($43):

Via Napoli Full Review

We got another Mezzo Metro with Pepperoni and Sausage ($46):

Via Napoli Full Review

Here’s a Large Pepperoni ($33):

Via Napoli Full Review

Olivia couldn’t wait to chow down!

Via Napoli Full Review

The pizza is really good here, there’s no denying that.  The ingredients are top notch!  They are very very close to the real thing!  The crust is very thin, and the dough has a nice poof around the edges which is Classic Naples style pizza.  The sauce is excellent, you can taste the quality and sweetness in the tomatoes.  Very fresh.

They sure did put a ton of pepperoni on the pizza which is perfect in my book!  The pepperoni has a great flavor too, not too spicy but just the right amount of kick to it:

Via Napoli Full Review

Another important thing for me with pizza is the cheese content.  Of course I don’t want to taste just the cheese, but at the same time I hate it when there isn’t enough and it doesn’t cover the whole pie.  That was not the case here as i thought there was the right amount for me.

I enjoyed the Pepperoni Pizza more than the Sausage because as you can see there wasn’t a whole lot of it on the pizza.  It kind of got clumped together in the middle, but towards the edges there wasn’t really any.  That’s a no-no in my book as I was expecting it to be more like the pepperoni.

Via Napoli Full Review

Overall the pizza was really good.  One problem though was that it wasn’t as filling as we were expecting.  On the Mezzo Metro pizza there are about 16 slices in the whole thing about the size of the ones on my plates, some a bit smaller if they were near the crust.  The slices look like a decent size, but the fact is that they are super thin, so they aren’t nearly as filling as they seem.  Like I said, we split it in 4, but by the end we were still all hungry.  So if you are big eaters like us, then I would recommend you don’t go by their rating of how many people each pizza feeds.  In theory ours fed 4-5, but it was more like 3 decently hungry people.

Via Napoli does have the Best Pizza in Walt Disney World.  Again, that’s not saying a whole lot seeing as Florida isn’t known for its great pizza, In fact most of the pizza in the area tastes like cardboard with a bottle of Heinz poured all over it.  But this pizza is actually really good, and coming from my wife that means something!  However the high cost and the fact we were still hungry has to be taken into consideration.

Next up was Dessert:

First we got the Zeppole di Caterina ($10):

Via Napoli Full Review

These bad boys are Ricotta cheese fritters, served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  Take a look inside:

Via Napoli Full Review

I would say there were about 7-8 of them in the basket.  They are very similar to Donut Holes.  You can taste the sweetness of the ricotta cheese.  They are fried nicely, leaving the outside a bit crunchy and the inside nice and soft and chewy:

Via Napoli Full Review

Of course the best thing to do is dunk those bad boys in the chocolate sauce and whipped cream!

Via Napoli Full Review

The chocolate sauce  imo could have been better, it was a bit runny and didn’t have an amazing taste to it.  Also it could just be me but looking back to a few years ago it seems like they gave you more than they do now, bigger pieces perhaps.  Overall they were a solid dessert, not amazing, but good.

Next was the Tiramisu ($9):

Via Napoli Full Review

This is your classic dessert that you find literally in every restaurant in Italy.  Mascarpone cream, espresso coffee, lady fingers, chocolate all blend together wonderfully.  The mascarpone was probably the best part as it was nice and creamy.  Also it didn’t have an overly strong coffee taste that blocked out the rest.  Good choice.

Lastly was the best dessert imo, the Coppa Brutti Ma Buoni ($14):

Via Napoli Full Review

This was really good.  A cherry vanilla gelato sundae, with nice pieces of chocolate on top and a ton of cherries in it!  That’s the way to my heart and I love when they put lots in there, well done!  Gelato was very good, nice and creamy.  Also the added chocolate biscotto on top was a nice touch.  $14 is a little steep for a sundae, but I enjoyed this the most of any desserts.

Summary:

A bit of a mixed bag here.  I came into it with really good memories from past visits to Via Napoli, and this time to be quite honest it disappointed me a bit.  The Sangria was too watery, the service was slow, and we left not really filled up.  It’s not all bad, the atmosphere is really cool, lots of energy, and the food for the most part is quite good.  The pizzas themselves are excellent, and imo the Best in Walt Disney World.  The Pepperoni was amazing!  The authentic ingredients make this the go-to spot if you are craving a pie on your vacation, but the prices of the pizzas keep rising almost to the point where it’s crazy.

Next time we go I’m going to try some of the other dishes and see if you can get a better bang for your buck going that route.  I understand not everyone has the chance to go to Italy, so for that reason if you want to experience what a pretty close-to-Naples pizza is, then you should give it a try.  So while I will still love the pizzas here and I for sure will come back, there are too many other great dining options in WDW that it isn’t the absolute must-go-to that it was when it first opened.

Via Napoli is a Lunch/Dinner restaurant and is open from 11:30 am – Park Closing Daily.  The Disney Dining Plan is also accepted, it is a 1 Disney Dining Credit Restaurant.  Reservations can be made via the Disney World website or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Via Napoli Official Menu

I love to write Restaurant Reviews of Walt Disney World and I hope you found this one to be informative and helpful.  If you liked this review then please visit my Disney Dining Reviews Page where I have many other Restaurant Reviews.  I’m happy sharing with you what I love doing best…eating! ?  I try to bring you the most thorough and unbiased reviews about the food and restaurants at Walt Disney World, so that as you are planning your vacation, you know the “can’t be missed” places, and where you shouldn’t waste your time.  Hope you enjoyed this one and will enjoy many others in the future!!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to Walt Disney World, and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about my Via Napoli Full Review and the experiences you’ve had there.  What’s your favorite food or drink item at Via Napoli?  Do you think the Pizza is overrated or the best in Walt Disney World?  Do you think it’s a good value?  Let us know in the comments section below! 🙂

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Zoulikha

Monday 13th of April 2020

Nice article.