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September is a big month for pizza celebrations. National Pepperoni Pizza Day is September 20 and National Cheese Pizza Day was earlier this month on September 5. Our family tradition is to eat pizza every Saturday for lunch. For that reason, on a recent trip to Disney, we wanted to keep with our tradition and find some delicious pizza on property. We definitely found our winner with Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzeria in the Italy pavilion at EPCOT. Let’s just say the pizza was so nice, we ate there twice (and almost thrice)!
What’s up With the Crust?
Via Napoli crust is the perfect balance of chewy, soft, and slightly charred. How do they do it? Real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy is used to make the special dough. This flour, combined with spring water of a similar pH level to the Campania region of Italy, proves to be the secret. Each custom-made pizza is cooked at a high temperature in the restaurant’s wood-burning ovens. This high-heat approach allows each pie to expertly bubble and blister. The charming ovens are cleverly named – Stromboli, Vesuvius, and Etna – as an homage to the three active volcanoes in Italy.
Beyond the Crust
Our family ordered a Piccante pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Italian spicy sausage. We also ordered an additional pizza split between Quattro Formaggi (white pizza – mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, provolone) and Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil) with artichokes, mushrooms and black olives. San Marzano tomatoes bursting with brightness and flavor serve as the base for Via Napoli’s red sauce. Although advertised as spicy, the sausage was more on the mild side. However, tasty notes of fennel came through with each bite. The sausage appropriately took a back seat and allowed the lovely cheese and tomato combination to take center stage.
The white pizza was in no way plain, but instead bold as the four types of cheeses melded together and complimented each other. The vegetable toppings retained a pleasant firmness from the quick-fire oven. Furthermore, a variety of meat and vegetable selections are available to customize your pizza exactly how you like it.
Pizza Size Depends On Appetite
The pizzas range in sizes, including individual, large, and mezzo metro. The large is plenty for 3-4 people, and the Mezzo is recommended for 4 or more. Both the large and mezzo are customizable, allowing you to order two different styles of pizza in one pie. Be mindful that even the Individual size is shareable for two, especially if you are also enjoying a salad and appetizer or two. Understandably, the only drawback to sharing an Individual pizza is deciding on just a single style of pizza.
Additional Accompanying Items
The Garlic Foccacia appetizer was divine. Specifically, the bread showcased a slight crunch on the outside yet incredibly light and airy on the inside. In addition, a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping is available upon request.
Green Beans proved to be the perfect side for the pizza. Cooked to perfection, they were soft enough but still maintained a pleasant texture. “Always a Mom,” I will never stop seeking out a good green vegetable to pair with a meal, no matter how old my kids get.
Via Napoli offers a nice selection of specialty cocktails, especially those with an Italian flair. The Peach Bellini showcased a refreshing combination of peach puree and prosecco sparkling wine.
If you aren’t seated nearby, be sure to stroll past the restaurant’s open kitchen. Kids especially enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of the cooking area and, of course, the billowy flames inside the wood-burning ovens.
Most of the dining tables are located in the large main dining room. As a result, this area can get a bit noisy. If you are in the mood for a quieter experience, consider requesting a table in the smaller dining room near the back of the restaurant.
Until Next Time
In conclusion, we are already planning the “must do’s” for our next trip in October. Dining at Via Napoli again will be at the top of the list. I’m eager to try some additional items like Arancini (fried risotto balls), Calamari, and perhaps the Chicken Parmesan. However, I have a feeling we will stick with the terrific pizza and have limited room for much else. Why mess with a good plan?
Let us know, have you been to Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria at EPCOT? Is it your go-to place for pizza at Disney World?
Finding fun and informative ways to provide Disney goers a unique perspective on the information they seek about the parks, resorts, food, history and so much more. Been bringing kids to Disney from toddlers to teens, so plenty of parent tips will be given.
Happiest with a pineapple Dole Whip float in my hand and an Orange Bird hat on my head.