Via Napoli is a relatively new addition to Epcot’s dining establishments. In our experience it is usually busy with lines heading out the door. We always see throngs of people waiting at the standby line in hopes of getting in. It is important to get advanced reservations. If you do not have reservations, there is little to no chance of getting seated by walking up to the counter and asking if they can accommodate your group. Once I practically had to beg a manager to seat us, the restaurant was nearly empty, but I couldn’t make a reservation with less than a one hour window. I’d read that other guests have had better luck with walk-ups but I’m not so sure, don’t leave it to chance if you can help it.
Via Napoli is beautiful inside and out. Via Napoli has an open kitchen, three wood burning ovens, high ceilings, painted accents, unique lighting and real character. An expansive butcher block table in the main dining room can accommodate large groups for special events, if you wish to eat at this table, I think you must make special arrangements in advance – they will not seat your group there by request. The wood burning pizza ovens are artistically embellished and named after the three active volcanoes in Italy – Etna, Vesuvio, and Stromboli. There is also limited dining space outside (seasonally), and covered courtyard wing with more indoor seating. I do not like dining in the covered courtyard room it is rather plain with a low ceiling, I prefer the atmosphere in the main dining room even though it can be very noisy, it’s a large open space with more to look at.
The service can be hit or miss, sometimes they are on the slow side and sometimes they do make mistakes but that can happen anywhere you go. Once our pizza came out really early, and they forgot to bring our salad. To their credit, they did offer to remake the pizza, but we didn’t want them to remake a $41 pizza and toss out the one they already brought us. The servers are friendly – usually (once we didn’t have drinks for about 10 minutes and we asked someone who wasn’t our server for a refill and we got a rude look). You may have to point out to the server that you are running low on drinks, bread, et cetera or that you are ready for your check. It is really hard to tell if this is just because they are so busy all the time or they are not checking in on you enough.
The consensus among our friends and family is that Via Napoli makes the best pizza ever. Their Neapolitan pizzas are made with imported caputo flour from Italy, fresh handmade mozzarella cheese, and San Marzano tomatoes. The water used to make the dough is also special, they use spring water similar to that found in the Campania region of Italy. The water makes such a difference in the dough. Their pizzas are amazing. We have tried the Carciofi pizza – which has artichokes and truffle oil toppings. The quattro formaggio pizza is our favorite though- mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, and provolone with no sauce. The house salad is always fresh, it is served family style ($6 per person, minimum of 2 people, they do not serve it individually).
For appetizers, I order the Gamberetti Fagioli (shrimp and cannellini bean salad, E.V.O.O., and lemon juice). The portion sizes run on the smaller side, but they are consistent each time. The appetizers are usually just enough to be tasting portions for 2-3 people. You will not get filled up on just an appetizer. Be sure to ask for bread, they will bring you bread and olive oil (or butter if you prefer). The food quality is excellent, I would imagine anything you order will be outstanding.
At Via Napoli you can order Sangria or beer by the pitcher, this is by far the best bang for your buck, it might just be the best value in all of Epcot. For the beer drinkers, they have Moretti, Moretti La Rossa, and Sam Adams on draft. My husband prefers the regular Moretti when eating food with it because it is lighter than the La Rossa. I love their Sangria.
If you still have room for dessert and coffee, you can not go wrong with anything on their menu. The gelato is fantastic. The Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni (“Ugly but Good” Sundae) is a must have, I ask them to make it with pistachio gelato which is my favorite (it normally comes with vanilla gelato). The sundae comes with two little amaretto cookies that are heavenly – absolutely heavenly. Anyone who tastes this sundae can’t stop after one bite, including people who are not into desserts find it hard to resist. My husband who doesn’t order dessert usually gobbles up more than half.
If you have not been to Via Napoli yet, I recommend that it goes on your short list of things to do on your next vacation to WDW. Via Napoli has something for everyone, the menu offers a wide variety of choices; the only downside is that it may be very hard to try something new because everything is so good. I find myself to be in this predicament, but that probably isn’t such a bad thing.