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  • Cafe Pesto - Kawaihae Harbor

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Cafe Pesto - Kawaihae Harbor

Cafe Pesto - Kawaihae Harbor Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://cafepesto.com
  • Phone: (808) 882-1071
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:30pm; Dinner: Nightly: 4:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
  • Executive Chef: Moses Tavares
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Cafe, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Akoni Pule Hwy
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Cafe Pesto - Kawaihae Harbor
"The best of Hawaii's hidden treasures," claim food critics and locals alike. The menu features fresh local seafood, exotic pizzas, colorful eclectic salads and Asian inspired pastas and risottos.

The harbor settings, rich in Hawai'ian history, provide a backdrop of authenticity and charm to the award-winning restaurant. Visit the stone temple Heiau of Kawaihae harbor to view the ancient shark deities on their sunset vigils.Continued

Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "This was our first time to Café Pesto. Heard a lot of great things and read a lot of great reviews. Had to try it for ourselves and it was awesome! The food was very tasteful and the presentation of each dish was terrific. We had the coconut calamari and crab cakes for appetizers...we got full off of that! Moved on to the main dish which consisted of the Santa Fe chicken and the Something Hearty...loved it! Of course you have to try the desserts. We had the apple crisp which was wonderful! We will be back to try other things on the menu. Mahalo"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "Great food. Fun waiter (Ira) who also knew what he was doing. Reasonable price. Pizza is good whether hot or cold. Everything is fresh."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "Our favorite place on this side of the Island. Fun menu, fresh catch dishes always interesting. Outstanding cocktails from the bar from Jade and Katy."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "We came here on the recommendation of a local, and enjoyed the low-key ambience and the food. After an excellent dinner, we came back later in the week for lunch. We loved the calamari appetizer and the pizza, the fajita was excellent, and the miloli'i sandwich was a big hit."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Excellent food, great service. This is our fourth visit and we always go when we are on the Big Island."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "We travel to Hawaii once a year and Cafe Pesto is always on our list of places to eat dinner. This year we went twice, one time meeting longtime friends here. We met at 6:30p and practically closed the restaurant, never to be bothered because we were staying so long. Our simple 'change' requests were gladly met and, as always, our food was prepared promptly and very delicious."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "The menu is great, food top notch, drinks are interesting and the service is on par. The best part is the prices are all very reasonable for the Big Island. No wonder the place is full every night of the week."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "A true find! Delicious food in a casual setting. We could see the sunset out the window which was breath taking. Seafood Risotto was some of the best we ever had! Great service great food. A new favorite on the big island"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "The pizza is delectable, fish and pasta dishes are also very good. Vegetarian friendly. Wonderful and friendly service."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Pesto was very good but limited menu. Need a few more pasta dishes and more beef and chicken choices"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Highly recommended by many friends, this delicious place deserves a visit. Actually they have two locations on the big Island. The food is innovative and delicious. The menu always features the catch of the day which is easy because they are situated on Harbor."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "We have been coming to Cafe Pesto for ten years. It's reasonable, the wait people are friendly and it's a casual place. I have to have their warm coconut tart every time I go there. Unbelievable."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Every time we come to the big Island we have dinner a Cafe Pesto and we have never been disappointed. The food is excellent and the wait staff is outstanding."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Another excellent dining experience at Pesto's. Our server was Ira and he was fantastic. His suggestions were great. all of us enjoyed what we ordered and we left the place stuffed."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Good food. Preparations allowed for the the ingredients to stand on their own without being oversauced."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "This was our fifth time at Pesto's, the food and service quality are always good and this location is preferred over Hilo. We usually eat pizza's and salad with local micro brews and Italian vino. The pasta and specials are also unique and local depending on your mood."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "A must when you are on the island for vacation. Great Food, drinks, and friendly staff."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "This Cafe always has great fresh fish specials. I think it gets it's fish locally from Kawaihae fishermen. "
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "They do an outstanding job with their entres. A bit pricey especially on the fish dishes but the preparation makes up for it. When I try something new I am never disappointed. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "One of the things Café Pesto is known for its pizza. However, the pizza I had was undercooked and cold. When I complain all they did was reheat the pizza which burned the cheese and meat on top. With two other good pizza places nearby (Kaunoa Bar and Grille and Pueos) that serve truly outstanding pizza, Café Pesto needs to get their act together."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We enjoyed a large blue caesar salad for 2, I had the ono (fresh catch) and he had the steak (ribeye, I think), both cooked to perfection. He had the apple crisp for dessert, in a generous ramekin (enough for 2, so I had a few bites---piping HOT! and not too sweet, just right)"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "My husband ordered the smoked salmon linguine and I had the pepperoni pizza. I had some of the salmon and the sauce was so tasty it left me wanting more. The automatic spices on the pizza drew me in right away and the flavor of the sauce and softness of the crust was exactly what I want, but rarely get, in a pizza. I would be remiss if I did not mention the pesto dressing for the salad is a must try...it is now my favorite salad dressing."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "Cafe Pesto is one of our favorite places to eat when we are in the area! We love their pizza and recommend their coconut tart!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner at Cafe Pesto and recommend it as an alternative to the on site restaurants of the Kohala Coast resorts. The wait staff is friendly and attentive. The wine list is on the expensive side, and that is true of most Hawaiian restaurants. We shared the Seafood Risotto and the seafood was very nicely prepared. The risotto was a little too rich though, so don't feel you should eat it all. Our salads had very fresh ingredients and was very tasty. "
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "Not a great experience: our table surface was sticky, the main dish was tasteless (sautéed Mahi-Mahi). The waiter was pleasant but not well trained. When the waiter delivered the plates to the table he knocked a full glass of water into my lap. To compensate for it he later brought a plastic wrapped cookie for my wife and I to share. We are in Hawaii for a month but will not be returning to this restaurant."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "One of my favorite places on the Island to dine. Great service, nice menu with many choices, nice bar and Katy is a great bartender, just a perfect place on this side of the island, to enjoy an evening out."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "For the past decade we have visited and enjoyed Cafe Pesto while vacationing on Hawai'i. This is our favorite "off resort" dining experience. In fact, the food is better than any five star hotel restaurant. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Have dined here last several years while visiting Hawaii. This year food was not as good...pizza included. Will try again next year though"
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "My husband and I both had pasta dishes. I would have rated the food very good except we found the marinara sauce a bit sweet for our tastes. My husband had his pasta with their pork and beef meatballs and I had mine with chicken apple sausage. Both meats were delicious and the pasta was well cooked. Saw other patrons with pizza and it looked as if they were enjoying that as well. We also had a wonderful, friendly server who gave us information for a terrific hike the next day. For a local, not fancy restaurant I would say this was an excellent find."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Cafe Pesto served one of the best fish dishes I have had in quite some time. It was their Monchong special and it was just perfectly cooked, with great sauce, and simple side dishes. So often one can only get Mahi or Ahi so this was terrific and tasty."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Been coming to pesto every vacation for last 5 years. Continues to delivery excellent food and progressive ambiance. Appreciate the adult area off the new bar! Keep up the good work!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This is 4-5th visit over the last five years - always a fine dinner experience. This was not considered memorable. Had 7:15 reservation for 3 - and seated by 7:55 - with plenty of so sorries. It appeared a party of four arriving after we did got seated before us. Server was cordial but not very attentive. Ordered Shrimp Pizza - but got Chicken Pizza. Don't recall server asking about meal until after we were finished. When we said it was Chicken and not Shrimp server said - oh my second choice. Not the response we were expecting."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Spring Break with college-age daughter and her friend. After dining at Cafe Pesto in Hilo, the girls selected Cafe Pesto-Kawaihae Harbor for another dinner. Specialty pizzas were delicious, server was cheerful, and restaurant was located in a cute shopping area. Recommended!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Eh. That is my impression of this location. Was in Hilo last year and had a much better dining experience, from service to food. Nothing was particularly bad here, but not so good either. Could take it or leave it. We were here at lunch. Maybe dinner would be better."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "over several years we have dined at Cafe Pesto and always enjoyed the food. The Pizzas are special but the specialties are even better. Fresh fish, right off the boats. yum the only problem is that they get busy around dinner time. so come early or late for a better experience."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Everything we ordered was very good, from salads to pizza to dessert."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "I highly recommend the calamari and caprese salad. These simple dishes were far from ordinary. My wife and I both chose the fish of the day. Her's was a lighter preparation with local vegetables including purple sweet potato slices., while mine was a mildly spicy Asian preparation over Japanese noodles. The menu is extensive and when we return I plan to get the Pizza, which you can customize. It looked outstanding. Our server was very busy, but did a nice job. While it wasn't inexpensive, it was much more reasonable than most places we've been to in Hawaii."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "We eat here 3 or 4 times every time that we visit Hawaii . One can get gourmet pizza or upscale fish and other dishes. Dress is nice casual. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Cafe Pesto at Kawaihae has been there for years...consistently fresh, flavorable food with very good service. As usual, this time of year the place was packed, which increased the noise level considerably. In spite of the industrial harbor view, Cafe Pesto creates a pleasant and not outrageously expensive lunch and dinner menu as an alternative for nearby resort guests, as well as locals. It's nice to be able to depend on this restaurant for tasty, time tested cuisine, as well as a few innovative surprises on occasion."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "Calamari appetizer was wonderful, as was the Santa Fe Chicken. The apple crisp and coconut tart were both great. Service was prompt and attentive. The Mai tais. Are among the best on the Kohala Coast.. This so our favorite restaurant, and it did not disappoint."
    Dined on 2/20/2014