This review reflects our experience in November of 2014.
Generally when people think about authentic Italian food they think about pizza. So naturally one of the two restaurants in Epcot’s Italy pavilion is a pizza place. We have often talked about going to Via Napoli but have heard both good and bad experiences.
We decided have lunch at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, the restaurant like many in Epcot opens at 11:30. We checked in around 11:20 for our 11:30 reservation and were seated a few minutes after 11:30. There were a lot of people waiting after we checked in so if you have an opening reservation make sure to check in early so you can be seated right away.
The restaurant was really interesting. and very open. The light throughout the restaurant made it feel like we were sitting in the countryside of Italy. There is a large center table that leads to the wood burning ovens for the pizzas. There is also a small patio area that would be really enjoyable in the evening. Unfortunately Via Napoli is tucked in the back of the Italy pavilion so there is no good views of Illuminations.
Once we were seated we mentioned to the waiter about our vegan diet. We ordered drinks and a few minutes later the manager came over instead of a chef. He told us we could get a pizza without the cheese and didn’t mention anything else that we could get. He then left and the waiter came back to take our order. We ordered the Capriciossa Pizza, which is topped with eggplant, artichokes, prosciutto and mushrooms. We obviously removed the prosciutto and cheese and also added olives. The pizza is $31 for a large, which serves 2-3 people, the additional topping is $3.50. Other vegan toppings you can get include broccoli rabe, onions, arugula, red peppers, zucchini and diced tomatoes.
One of the reasons we never came here before was the price, this is not a cheap pizza. You can also order a salad but it is a large family style salad. This means it is priced per person and you have to have at least 2 people who want the salad. The salad is $7 per person. We have also heard of other vegans getting pasta here, so if you prefer pasta I would ask when you speak to a chef or manager.
We both ordered the Acqua Frescas for our drinks, one blood orange and one strawberry. They were very light and full of flavor. We both agreed that the strawberry was better. If you’re looking for a refreshing non alcoholic or carbonated drink you should definitely try these.
Since we were just eating pizza we opted for a large, this thing was huge! There is 8 slices for a large pizza.
The dough was really good and super soft in the right way. It was definitely thin but with a full crust on the edge. The bottom of the pizza had that smoky wood-fired pizza flavor that just adds an extra flavor boost. The sauce was obviously house made with visible tomato seeds. We felt the sauce was a bit bland, if we go again I will ask for extra sauce to make up for the lack of cheese as the pizza felt pretty dry.
The vegetables on the pizza were perfectly seasoned and cooked just right. I could have just eaten a bowl of the eggplant the way it was cooked. We got about two slices in each before we realized there were no olives. It was too late at that point to say something to our waiter so we just hoped that they didn’t put it on our bill. All in all this pizza was pretty good, we just wish there had been more sauce. This was probably the most authentic Italian pizza I have had outside of pizza in Italy.
We both felt like this would be a better experience with a larger party so you can get multiple pizzas. Even though the pizza was huge we both ended up being hungry relatively soon after eating because we really just ate thin dough and a small amount of vegetables. We felt that the price of the pizza was a bit much for a cheese-less non filling pie. The olives were not added onto the bill so if you are adding specific toppings to an existing pizza make sure you confirm it with whoever takes your order before they head to the kitchen.
Would we go back?
Yes, we would probably go back if we were with other people, but for now we’re going to stick to our quick service pizza options.
Melissa & Corey
Have you eaten at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria? What were your favorite toppings?