Earlier this month Via Napoli
at Epcot once again began offering the 'by-the-slice' counter service location for its now famous pizza. We had a few reports from recent guests that the pizza being served at the counter service is not the same as the highly acclaimed wood-fired oven pizza being served indoors at the main Via Napoli restaurant. We sent in the WDWMAGIC pizza experts (well expert-ish) to investigate.
The counter service option offers two types of pizza by the slice - cheese pizza at $4.50, and pepperoni pizza at $5.25. One thing became very clear very quickly. This pizza is completely different to the pizza offered inside the main Via Napoli restaurant. The roughly 4" to 5" square pizza slice has a considerably thicker crust, different cheese, and different sauce. Looking at the underside, it also appears to be cooked on a regular pizza deck oven instead of the elaborate wood burning brick ovens inside the restaurant
. We've included some photos below of the 'by-the-slice' pizza, and as a comparison, the pizza served inside the main restaurant.
The 3 taste testers all confirmed that the 'by-the-slice' pizza was nowhere near the standard of the pizza found inside at Via Napoli. The cheese appeared to be processed, rather than the wonderful fresh mozzarella found inside. None of the charring and blackening was present on the crust, instead it had a more uniform look typically found with deck pizza ovens. The crust was also much thicker than the thin-crust inside, and did not offer the same great texture of crisp outside and the doughy inside. Our taste testers gave the 'by-the-slice' pizza a 4 out of 10, compared to the inside main restaurant pizza of a 10 out of 10.
As we all know, pizza preference is a very personal and subjective thing, but one thing is clear. You've probably read and seen Disney videos all about Via Napoli and how authentic and incredible their pizza is (and it really is!). If you want to experience the real thing that created all the buzz, be sure to go inside the main Via Napoli restaurant. According to our reviewers (and plenty of others), you won't be disappointed. But as for the outside 'by-the-slice' offering, our reviewers will not be rushing back, unless of course the real thing comes to the window.
View menus, photos and reviews of Via Napoli here.