Saturday, July 27, 2013

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria - Epcot

My first impression of Via Napoli, when it initially opened in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot, was not a good one.  Gluten free choices were very limited, and I was told that it was not a good restaurant for people with celiac to eat in, because of the flour in the air from the pizza.  I also did not enjoy the pasta I ordered during that visit.  Their gluten free pasta was cooked well, but their tomato sauce was pretty tasteless, even with a significant amount of added cheese.

Because my extended family loves their pizza, and my daughter Emma is completely obsessed with their tiramisu, I have let myself be dragged back to Via Napoli about once a year.  Today was one of those days, but I had such a different experience from that first visit. To start, I had plenty of appetizers and entrees to choose from on the menu.  The chef told me that I could order most of the pasta dishes, and that both rice and corn pasta were available.  I almost ordered pasta with cream, chicken & peas, but instead decided to order two appetizers. 

The mozzarella caprese was quite good once I added some salt, balsamic vinegar, and more olive oil.  

I also enjoyed the shrimp and cannellini bean salad with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.  

Before my appetizers arrived, I received a plate of gluten free bread.  It is the same bread that is served at Tutto Italia and Tutto Gusto, but is available nowhere else at Disney.  The middle piece is my favorite, because it is a little bit sweet, and reminds me of Easter bread.  I also usually eat the raisin bread, which is good, if it is heated well.  The lightest piece of bread usually goes uneaten after I fill up on the other two.  

This is the pizza that keeps my gluten eating family coming back.  My husband says it's as good as the pizza we had in Italy back in 2003, and that pizza was amazing.  

As far as dessert goes, the gelato and sorbet do not contain gluten, but I was told that they are not made on property, and there could be a chance of cross contamination where they are manufactured.  

November 3, 2013 Update

We visited Via Napoli with my parents and my brother's family this week.  I decided to try the gluten free pasta this time.  A manager told me that they could make a gluten free version of three of the six pasta dishes on the menu.  I ordered the Paccheri alla Crema con Pollo - pasta with cream, chicken, and pancetta.  The pasta was cooked perfectly, the sauce was delicious, and I didn't even need to add extra Parmesan.  I loved the combination of the chicken and pancetta in this dish, which was definitely one of the best gluten free pasta dishes I have ever had in a restaurant.  I asked my brother, who does not have celiac, if he wanted to try it.  He loved it so much, he finished off everything I didn't eat.  My brother, who had never tried gluten free pasta before, said it tasted just like wheat-filled pasta.  

I passed on the Lucy's gluten free cookies and French Meadow brownie I was offered for dessert.

You can view Via Napoli's menu, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Via Napoli?  


  1. I had the GF pasta with cream, chicken and peas and was completely unimpressed. So very bland. It was quite disappointing. You didn't miss anything.

  2. I went here earlier this month and was shocked. When the manager came out, she told me that the only GF options that they had were a pasta dish with red sauce (they could add grilled chicken) and a salad. When I told her that I had read online about how there were many gluten-free options, she just gave me a cold stare. The GF menu here is almost non-existent. My boyfriend and I ended up leaving and going to Tutto Italia, which had a much better GF menu. If you go to Epcot and are craving Italian food, I would recommend going to Tutto Italia and not even trying Via Napoli.

    1. Wow, that's so disappointing! Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Just a 2015 update for ya. They are still not doing the GF pizza. The pasta is ok. I had a seafood pasta with a red sauce and that part was amazing. The pasta was just a carrier for that. Truly sad about the pizza though =(

  4. Here today and gluten free spaghetti with chicken since I couldn't have the meatballs. Excellent.... Manager took my order and stapled my order to an allergy card and handed it to the chef. Excellent service and the meal was amazing