Epcot’s World Showcase is overflowing with incredible dining options featuring cuisine from all over the world. Today, we’re going to talk about Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, or Via Napoli for short, which is located deep within the Italy pavilion. This popular restaurant has a strong reputation as being one of the best places to eat in all of Epcot. Does it live up to that high bar?
We made a lunch reservation at Via Napoli through a Candlelight Processional Dining Package that included an appetizer, entree and a dessert for each guest. Soft drinks were also included in the dining package, but we couldn’t resist going for something a bit stronger.
First impressions: The atmosphere at Via Napoli is warm, welcoming and offers the illusion that you’re sitting down to enjoy a big family meal. Some may call it a bit loud or even chaotic. We’d call it an authentic experience that may even offer you the chance to get to know your neighbors – for better or worse. More on that later.
Enough stalling. Let’s talk about the food and drinks!
We started by ordering the Sicilian Sunset, an alcoholic beverage that combines vodka, orangecello, orange and pineapple juices over shaved ice. This unique drink is as photogenic as it was delicious.
The shaved ice scoop did an awesome job of keeping this sweet, fruity and refreshing drink cool as it was enjoyed. We think this should be a go-to beverage for a hot summer day at Epcot … or any day at Epcot.
For our appetizers we selected the Contadino, a salad with arugula, string beans, candied walnuts, pear, pecorino and a mustard vinaigrette.
This salad was extremely fresh and the candied walnuts were a tasty addition. The mustard vinaigrette was fairly subtle (a good thing for us) and the portion size was far larger than we expected. Huge portion sizes are going to be a recurring theme during our meal.
We also chose the Arancini, which are fried risotto balls with mozarella and a red meat sauce that we simply could not pass up.
These were enormous! Roughly the size of a tennis ball, the Arancini were densely packed and incredibly filling. As much as we enjoyed these, we simply couldn’t finish them unless we wanted to be completely stuffed before our entree even arrived.
Speaking of entrees…
We wanted to keep things relatively simple. We chose the Spaghetti e Polpettine (spaghetti and meatballs) and the Pollo Parmigiana (chicken parmesan) as we’ve heard great things about both dishes.
The Spaghetti e Polpettine is a classic dish and we were excited to see how it stacked up. It was fantastic! The noodles were the star of the show. They were soft, perfectly cooked and had a somewhat buttery taste that made us wish we had more room to keep packing them in. The meatballs were delicious as well, but we’d still rank the noodles themselves as the overall winner.
Switching over to the Pollo Parmigiana, we were immediately taken back by the size of this dish. It filled the whole plate!
Hidden beneath the giant piece of chicken were some of the same noodles that could be found in the spaghetti and meatballs dish we discussed earlier. They were so good!
The chicken parm was incredible. We’ve had versions in the past at other restaurants where the chicken either wasn’t the highest quality or wasn’t cooked very well. Here, that wasn’t an issue. The chicken was nearly perfect and it was clearly a very high-quality selection. As with every other item we ordered, the portion was enormous and we struggled to even make a dent in this thing despite how good it was.
Finally, let’s talk dessert. We had absolutely no room for dessert, but it was included in the meal package we had already purchased, so we decided to struggle through. And boy were we glad we did.
We tried out the cookies and cream gelato (very smooth, not too rich) and let our server pick out our other dessert. She recommended the Tiramisù and she hit it out of the park.
As we’ve said a few times in this review, this piece of Tiramisu was enormous. It had a great combination of flavors and textures. The chocolate and cream flavors stood out more prominently than the coffee flavor, which made it more enjoyable in our opinion. We’d easily label this as the best Tiramisu we’ve had as of the date of this review.
Overly stuffed, we rolled out of Via Napoli and attempted to walk off some of those calories around World Showcase.
Let’s summarize things a bit:
- The food! Everything tasted fresh and delicious. This was one of the best meals we’ve had at both Epcot and Walt Disney World.
- The cast members at Via Napoli were very friendly and knowledgeable.
- Our food arrived quickly and was served at a great temperature.
- Our drinks were kept full and plates were removed quickly.
- Portions were huge! You’re definitely getting a good bang for your buck.
- Speaking of value, Via Napoli serves high quality food at a price that’s quite a bit more affordable compared to other table service restaurants at Epcot.
- The restaurant can be a bit loud. That does help sell the atmosphere that you’re at a large family dinner, but you probably should be aware it won’t be the most quiet dining experience at Epcot.
- You may be sitting close to your neighbors. That can be good or bad depending on your neighbors. A table near us was a classic case of a party that won’t be happy regardless of what you do, which put a slight damper on the mood.
- As mentioned, the portions were so large that you’ll probably struggle to clean your plate. We’d recommend sharing as much as possible or you may find a lot of things going to waste.
The Not So Good
- As with most table service restaurants, a meal at Via Napoli can take a decent amount of time. Our meal took about an hour and a half even though every course arrived quickly. We’d assume busier times could take quite a bit longer. This probably isn’t the best option if your time is limited or if you’re trying to prioritize rides and attractions.
Via Napoli provided an outstanding experience and a delicious meal. We left stuffed and quite happy, raving about our meal throughout the remainder of our trip. The price was quite reasonable when talking about the quality of the food and when compared to other sit-down restaurants around Walt Disney World.
So, would we return to Via Napoli? Absolutely! It’s now one of our favorite restaurants we’ve experienced at Walt Disney World and we’re excited to return.