Via Napoli's three wood-burning ovens: Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria Review: Eat Here Often

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is located in EPCOT’s Italy Pavilion. This beautifully themed restaurant is home to three wood-burning ovens that produce my favorite pizza anywhere. I love it. I wish we lived a lot closer to Disney World simply so I could eat this pizza all the time.

My family enjoyed our first Via Napoli meal in 2010, two months after it opened. We’ve been back every visit. In fact, it was our first indoor dining experience after only doing take-out for 14 months during the pandemic. It’s a special place for us.

Via Napoli exterior

The dining rooms

Via Napoli has three dining areas. The main room features high ceilings and many hard surfaces. A long community table runs the length of the room. This table is ideal for larger parties and those wishing to catch a glimpse of the chefs making pizzas in the beautifully crafted pizza ovens. More on them in a minute.

Via Napoli dining room and pizza ovens
Via Napoli dining room

A second room (not pictured) has ceiling-to-floor windows offering a view of the Pavilion. Those windows are rarely open, however. Most guests appreciate air conditioning more than super-heated fresh air.

If you appreciate a quieter meal, request the back room. Booths provide guests with a little more privacy than what’s available elsewhere in the restaurant.

Via Napoli back dining room

The ovens

The ovens are appropriately named after three Italian volcanos: Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna. They’re a great conversation piece but also vital to the restaurant. Via Napoli makes Neapolitan pizzas, which require wood-burning ovens. Typically, a Neapolitan pizza bakes at 900 degrees for two minutes. These chefs are artists. Any attempt on my part would result in a pizza that is both raw and burnt to a crisp.

Via Napoli chefs preparing pizzas in front of three wood-burning ovens
Via Napoli's three wood-burning ovens: Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna
Via Napoli chefs preparing pizzas in front of three wood-burning ovens

The pizzas

What makes a pizza a Neapolitan pizza? First, the ingredients. From Disney:

The thin-crust pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy. Water for the dough is even sourced from a spring similar to Italy’s Campania region.

Disney

I am not a foodie. I don’t know if the water makes a difference, but whatever they’re doing works. No judgment from me.

A Neapolitan pizza also has a very thin crust, especially in the center. I can’t eat a slice without folding it. You’ll see some people using a fork and knife.

The outer crust is light and fluffy. However, it can get charred when subjected to the volcanoes. American pizza chains use conveyors in their ovens to ensure an even cook. You won’t get that at Via Napoli. Cooking with a wood fire creates unique results. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Both pizzas were delicious.

Via Napoli - Mezzo Metro Pizza Quattro Formaggi and sausage pizza
Via Napoli - Mezzo Metro sausage, mushrooms, Margherita pizza

Pizzas are available in three sizes: personal, large, and mezzo metro (half meter).

The personal and large pizzas are pretty typical sizes. The mezzo metro is for hungry families, although my son and I (with a little help from my wife) have finished more than one. Typically, the mezzo metro will feed four to six normal eaters.

Via Napoli - individual pepperoni pizza
Via Napoli - large pepperoni pizza
Via Napoli - large prosciutto and Margherita pizza
Via Napoli - Mezzo Metro Pizza Quattro Formaggi and sausage pizza

Special orders are not a problem. We love ordering a mezzo metro in two different ways. It’s cheaper than buying two larges. We usually start with a Margherita and add ingredients. Sausage, mushrooms, prosciutto, and pepperoni are big hits in our family. I’m not a pepperoni fan unless it’s from Via Napoli.

On our most recent trip, we tried a white pizza, the Quattro Formaggi. Ridiculously good. I’m sad I live so far away…

Pizzas are served with grated parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Via Napoli - parmesan and red pepper flakes

Other offerings

Via Napoli used to offer a free garlic focaccia bread service. It’s still on the menu but as a paid appetizer. We used to enjoy it immensely, but seriously… who needs that many carbs?

They also used to have a fried mozzarella app (Bocconcini) that was beyond explanation. Sadly, that’s been replaced by something much more generic. You can find it on the kid’s menu. It’s good, but not stratospherically good like its predecessor.

Via Napoli - fried mozerella

If you want to fill up on salad, the house is a good bet. It has mixed greens, cucumber, pepperoncino peppers, peppadew peppers, diced tomatoes, and olives. It’s served with a red wine vinaigrette.

Via Napoli House Salad

I’m not a drinker, but a friend really enjoyed the Sangria flight.

Via Napoli Sangria Flight

Via Napoli also offers a number of pasta dishes. We’ll never try them. I’m sure they’re great, but we need their pizza. We’ve also sampled the Tiramisù and gelato in the past and loved them both. Unfortunately, putting away a mezzo metro usually means we don’t have any room for dessert.

View the Via Napoli menu

Final thoughts

Via Napoli is a must-do for my family. It’s delicious food at reasonable prices. Don’t get me wrong. It is expensive pizza. A mezzo metro costs $50 – $60. But when you compare a Via Napoli bill to other Disney table service restaurants, it’s cheap by comparison. There are discounts for Annual Passholders and DVC Members, as well.

Reservations are highly recommended, although walk-ups can be accommodated during slower times.

Via Napoli gets 10 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this delicious pizza.

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