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  • Cafe Pesto - Hilo Bay

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Cafe Pesto - Hilo Bay
Cafe Pesto - Hilo Bay

Cafe Pesto - Hilo Bay Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafepesto.com
  • Phone: (808) 969-6640
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Casey Halpern
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Onsite or Offsite Catering Available. Email for information.
  • Entertainment: Live Music; Thursday 6-8pm, Friday 6-9pm, Saturday 6-9pm and Sunday 5-8pm

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mamo Street
  • Public Transit: Bus stop across street.
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Cafe Pesto - Hilo Bay
Cafe Pesto offers creative and locally fresh Island cuisine in a casually elegant setting at truly affordable prices. It's menu draws from the diverse multicultural influences found throughout the Big Island and applies them to wood fired pizzas, ethnically inspired pastas, risottos, the freshest of seafood and organic salads.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "It's a hit and miss on service- last visit walking in in happy only not to be greeted by a male hostess that never smiled and had a attitude, it wasn't busy no line and we had a reservation - never even said a word except your name - was weird and turn off- don't normally share this kind of stuff but feel maybe it will help their business. Generally I feel that the male waiters r always good and consistent therr"
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "We spent four nights in Hilo to visit son at UHH and ate at Cafe Pesto for a lunch and a dinner. Loved the food. Found it a bit noisy for dinner but since options are limited in Hilo you won't regret eating here. Pizzas are great (not typical pizza joint), sandwiches were yummy and for dinner they have great choices like, local fish, pasta, salads, and stir fry. Food is mostly local and fresh. Great drinks and like-able wine list. Service can be inconsistent-- because the place is small and very,very busy. So my best advice is that if you are hungry and want a tasty meal--- go to Cafe Pesto. If you want a quiet dinner for two--this is not the place. Also, highly recommend reservations."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "The fish special was absolutely delicious. As always, the chef's creativity is absolutely outstanding. We look forward to our next dining experience at Café Pesto."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "My husband and I chose to dine at Café Pesto in Hilo, Hawai'i based on reviews and scores from other diners. We arrived at 5:00 p.m. so we would have plenty of time before the dinner rush started. I had the fresh catch calzone with seafood combination (price $24.95USD). The food tasted good, but I didn't feel it was worth $25 -- 1/3 of the meal was a spring mix salad with canned crab flaked over it. I'm not sure I would recommend this to a friend."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "We loved the food and the fact that they had a terrific kids menu that was not the standard "grilled cheese, hot dog, pasta" version. Would go back all the time (if we lived in Hilo)."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We were in Hilo to see some volcanos and check a program at University of Hawaii ... first Hurricane Iselle ... then an amazing dinner. Kids loved it, we loved it."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "The food was tasty, and our waiter was fine. The busboy, notably, was the hardest working body in the joint! What we loved most was the atmosphere of the restaurant. It was reminiscent of old deco Hawaii, and we loved that. It was easy to find, right on the main stretch of Hilo, walkable from our hotel. If in Hilo again, we'd eat there happily."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "On a one day trip to Hilo, this was essential for dinner and it delivered! Had not been to the Hilo version recently, but always liked the Kawaihae location. This was a little noisier, but food was great including the piazzas. Definitely will be back."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Discovered Cafe Pesto on the other side of the Big Island on the Kohala Coast. Clean, friendly service with great pizza. Not touristy, just Italian food at reasonable prices. Decided that it would be a great place for dinner after hiking Volcanoes. Had the locally sourced steak with gorgonzola butter - awesome."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "Great food, good music & a very romantic atmosphere."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "best creme brulee ever...main courses, calzones and salads always hit a high mark."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We love Cafe Pesto -- any time of the day or night. A must try!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "I was recommened to dine there our a group I was hosting. I believe the service was excellent and the atmosphere was fine. The singer wasn't too loud and just enough background music. However, way overpriced. It's pasta guys. Four people and the bill with tip is over $150. Not worth it. The salmon on the pasta was hard and not very flavorful and yet someone else ordered the same and her's wasn't cooked through. Sorry. I love Italian and pasta is my favorite but no good recomendations from me. We never had an alocholic drink and the coffee was not hot. Thumbs down for me."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The service here was outstanding! The food was great! I would return over and over again."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Service persons were impersonal, seemed bothered to serve us, and less than warm and welcoming. Menu options are outstanding, but attentiveness by servers and their attitude to welcome our one time visit to this place as a family of four was very disappointing. Our five days on the Big Island, and this was one place our family chose as a special night out. We felt more like a bother than guests. Where is the Aloha attitude?"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Awesome food and service. If you dine out for decor you may find it wanting: not "fancy and chi-chi", but clean and artfully tasteful. But whose kidding, I came to eat delicious food, not admire les bibelot."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "We are repeat customers at Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay. We love the fact that the food is always consistent."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "My dinner left a little to be desired. But my husband loved his! Our hostess took us in early, which was very nice of her. Our waitress was awesome...very attentive, non-threatening & friendly! Lots of tourists in the restaurant for dinner time because this place is one of the few nice sit-down restaurants in the Hilo area. Overall, I'll definitely return, just order something else."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "My friends & I enjoyed our night out. Relaxing place, good food & drinks. We definitely will be coming back & hopefully with more friends! 😊"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "My wife enjoyed the King Surf & Turf. She said the food was delicious. Our guest and I enjoyed the pizza and volcano mist salad. What makes your pizza so special is in addition to the choices of toppings we can also add anchovies as a topping. In my opinion, that makes the pizza delicious."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The convenience of Open Table and the great service & food at Cafe Pesto made our spontaneous "Date night" enjoyable! Great food and drink recommendations were enjoyed during our visit. Our waiter always provides extra-ordinary service and despite the busy restaurant, all groups had a great time and it was obvious that the other waiters/waitresses were having a good night. Bus table assist was quick at removing completed/empty plates and refills of water or their signature teas. Waitresses were personal and made the time for all tables as this restaurant is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Always a great experience and an obvious choice for casual dining or sharing your special occasion!!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "As always.Excellent food, service and music. Love that I can do online reservations!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Just love to have lunch here! Food was great service also great."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "I guess they offer wifi now...we went for a quiet romantic Sunday dinner. The ambient live jazz was great but drowned out by unruly children whose parents idea of teaching manners was to stick them in front of a noisy elctronic game. We had 2 people with using laptops on their table, several on cellphones and many texting...felt like I was stuck in a Starbucks. We'll be choosing somewhere else for quiet romantic dinners."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Hilo doesn't have many reliably decent restaurants. Cafe Pesto is one that is. We eat here 2-3 times a month."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "I like this place for lunch and they have a great menu that supports local farmers. Many of the ingredients are organic and the style of food is Local Hawaii Regional cuisine with an Italian flair. The wine list and beverage selection including loose leaf teas are superb! Try their local beet salad or their "Miolii" sandwich with is like a toasted pesto bruchetta with cheese, fresh vegetables, and roasted veggies. Make your reservations on your Open Table App. even for 1 person, they get busy during lunch."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We found this place via the web. I made an online reservation for a Monday night and was very glad we did. It is obviously a local favorite. The southwestern soup was delicious and the sashimi tuna pizza was amazing. I would recommend cafe pesto to everyone. You won't be disappointed"
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "We had a delicious lunch here after shopping the market. All 3 of us enjoyed our food, but I really loved my SW Ono Caesar Salad. I also highly recommend the housemade lemonade made with lemongrass and lime leaves...refills are complementary."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Went to enjoy Happy Hour but was surprised to learn that their "happy hour" was just on drinks... $2 off beer or $5 margaritas only. There were no food specials at all, so it was full price off their regular dinner menu at 4:30pm. Bummer! Not sure if this is they way they do HH in Hawaii, but was disappointed. "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Thank you very much ! ! ! Your reception was very courteous, your service prompt and efficient, food was excellent."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "excellent gourmet pizzas and bisque soups. always using local fresh products!"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We love Cafe Pesto! Everything appears to be scratch-made and super fresh. The salads are amazing. The fish melts in your mouth. The desserts are to die for. Add to that live Hawaiian music and we are eating in a modern Hawaiian paradise:)"
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "The wait staff was friendly and provided the amount of service that was quick but not imposing. The food was very good and worth the price."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We renewed our vows, in Hilo at the Japanese Gardens for our 25th anniversary, then my husband booked dinner for Cafe Pesto. We thoroughly enjoyed it and they were very accommodating at taking us in a half hour earlier than we had booked it for. The dinner was fabulous, the waiter was extremely friendly and efficient. He wished us a Happy Anniversary and then the dessert was on the house. we chose an absolutely delicious Macadamia Apple Crumble with Ice Cream to share! We highly recommend Cafe Presto!!"
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "We went there twice during our trip to Hilo. Both nights were excellent. Be sure and "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Pestos is our go to place for visitors and friends when we want to give a good first impression of Hilo."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "About as close as you can get to an upscale plate to eat in Hilo. The food and service are good and the room is reminiscent of old Hawaii. Well worth the drive from the Kona side."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Very Nice Lunch. Service was on time from start to end. Food was great (it's really hard to get a 5 from me) just a really nice place in a small town."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "After visiting Hawaii Volcano Observatory past sundown, we conveniently booked an online reservation, via smartphone, at Cafe Pesto-Hilo. It was St. Patrick's Day and a delicious Corned Beef & Cabbage Pizza was offered. Everyone in our party enjoyed their dinner selection! The service was great and the historical building was interesting. Recommended!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "This restaurant is kid friendly. I had lunch with my daughter and we shared items from their appetizers. Waiter was awesome and although it a busy St Patrick's Day holiday, he took the time to check on us and provide service with a smile. Shirley Temples were a treat and we topped off the lunch with mint/Oreo ice cream. Highly recommend Cafe Pesto for friends or family especially waiter, Rodney! Mahalo ~"
    Dined on 3/17/2014