Via Napoli, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase | Focused on the Magic : Via Napoli, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

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Via Napoli, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

One of the many surprise highlights from my birthday celebration was lunch at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria in Epcot's The World Showcase.
It was a very hot August day with the sun screaming down. The heat and humidity from outside quickly evaporated as we waited for a table while listening to my favorite Italian song. "Mambo Italiano".

Via Napoli, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

Take a culinary tour of Southern Italy at this family-friendly restaurant and pizzeria at Epcot where Restaurateur Nick Valenti spent time in Naples studying the art of dough, crust, sauce and oven temperatures at the famous pizzerias Da Michele and Trianon before creating the menu at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. Voted Critic’s Choice for “Best Theme Park Restaurant” by Orlando Sentinel, Via Napoli was created by Patina, the renowned Patina Restaurant Group. 

Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

Via Napoli Restaurant, Epcot

My thoughts and experience:

There was no waiting! We were immediately shown to a table in the first room overlooking the square outside and the main dining area. Drinks orders were quickly taken almost as quickly and we were off to a great start.

Our server explained the food at Via Napoli is served when it's ready, even if the other peoples dishes at your table aren't. Serving fresh, hot food is more important to them than serving everyone at the same time. That's such a good policy but we didn't have to wait for each other as ours came out together.

The menu looked wonderful with a variety of moderately priced appetizers and entrees to choose from. $15 to $29.99 per adult (some DDP accepted).
Click here for the menu.
Initially I thought we would split a large pizza as this was an early lunch but was told that with the Disney dining plan you may not split individual pizzas using the 1T. Only the extremely large pizzas could be split and regular entrees.

We ordered the Pepperoni Pizza with spicy pepperoni, tomato & mozzarella.
and a Calamari Pizza with fried corn crusted calamari, arugula & fennel.
The kitchen is a huge show kitchen with high ceilings and visible from almost every table.


Via Napoli Restaurant, Epcot

This is a view from our table in the first room into the larger room. The ovens at are at one end and a large counter/table runs down the center.


The layout is very casual with tile floors, booths, mismatched wooden chairs, high ceilings, large windows. Open and airy. I noticed only salt shakers on the table. 
It was a little loud. Not in an Ohana coconut pushing kind of way but people talking, lively music, chairs on tile taverna floor loud. It's a great casual restaurant for for everyone. There was a mix of families with kids, singles and couples.

Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

The wood fired ovens are named after the 3 active volcanos in Italy - Stromboli, Mount Vesuvio & Mount Etna. Water for the pizza dough is sourced from a spring similar to Italy's Campania region.  When brought to the table it's put on a large stand in the center of the table. Cooking stations are all visible and exciting to watch. The pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy.


Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase

We had time to scout for Hidden Mickeys.
Found a few!
Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase



Our pizzas arrived together and piping hot. Drinks were refreshed quickly and without notice. Our server was very attentive and did more than the 2 sec. check.
We ate heartily.
Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase
Fresh was the first word that came to mind. The crust was perfect. Crisp on the edge but chewy and thin. I asked that mine be re-cut as it wasn't cut into manageable pieces. They hadn't actually cut the crust it was quartered if that. This proved a little confusing to my server at first but then understood.

The sauce reminded me of a NYC pizza sauce - so good. Even though the calamari was sparse we enjoyed every bite. 
The spicy pepperoni pizza was delicious. Each bite exploded with flavor.

Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, a taste of Italy in Epcot's World Showcase



For dessert we ordered Tiramasu and Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni aka 
"Ugly but Good"
Epcot Via Napoli, Tiramasu,


Tiramisu 8. Mascarpone cream, espresso coffee, lady fingers and chocolate
Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, Ugly But Good

"Ugly But Good"
Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, Ugly But Good

Amarena cherry & vanilla gelato sundae with the "Ugly But Good Cookies":) All incredibly heavenly delicious and not to be missed for $10. This item was removed from the menu I'm sad to report. Maybe if we all request it'll be brought back.


Celebrating birthdays at Via Napoli is unforgettable even if it's one you'd rather forget:P
Servers gather around to sing the Italian happy birthday song!
Review ~ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzaria, Birthday
a special birthday dessert


If you have time for lunch (this isn't a quick meal) and need a cool, fun, filling lunch in a terrific dining spot then try Via Napoli. We're looking forward to our next visit.



What's your favorite Italian dish in the parks?

____


Buon appetito!



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