What a surprise! This is a little restaurant tucked away on the corner of a small shopping building. The view isn't great as it sits across from the harbor and tanks on the waterfront. However the menu and service were impeccable! Opt for a half-order which is more than generous but not overwhelming. This leaves you the option of trying one of the excellent desserts on the menu. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here. This truly is a gem!
3/11/2013 5:00:00 PM
Cafe Pesto for a Birthday Lunch!
Cafe Pesto is a "GO to" place as it is always dependable and it is open all day from 11 a.m. on. They offer good pizza and have a variety of other food to choose from. It is a little pricey, especially if you have wine, but we would easily go again. The wait staff was very good as was the hostess. We asked for a substitute in the salad and they said "sure, no problem".
3/13/2013 5:00:00 PM
Cafe Pesto is outstanding!
Whenever we travel to the Big Island of Hawaii, we stop at Cafe Pesto for dinner. Their salad greens are very fresh (better than the mainland!), pasta is excellent and the pizza crust is thick but very light. Save room for vanilla ice cream with the coconut tart for dessert. It's our favorite restaurant on the island!
3/13/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great salads, pizza, fish....one
Great salads, pizza, fish....one of the best places on the island.
3/19/2013 5:00:00 PM
Once again a very delicious
Once again a very delicious meal. It was a nice outing to celebrate our daughter's accomplishments in school.
3/19/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great Lunch Choices! Not your
Great Lunch Choices! Not your boring usual items! Fresh ideas and reasonable prices.Service was excellent as well. Never had to ask for a refill on iced tea or coffee. A p;lace not to be missed!
3/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
Such a wonderful place we
Such a wonderful place we went back for another meal within 2 days.
3/23/2013 5:00:00 PM
We enjoyed our salads made
We enjoyed our salads made from fresh, locally sourced vegetables. The pasta was delicious with the pea pods prepared to perfection. Can't go wrong with the Hilo Sunrise either! Too full for dessert!
3/24/2013 5:00:00 PM
Food is very good. Like most
Food is very good. Like most restaurants in Hawaii overpriced. Portion size was very small for the price. Price was expensive for a "simple pasta dish" with no meat or seafood. However we will return because it is the best that we have found for the money. Pizza is Very Good and is the most affordable thing on the menu with many choices. Wine selection was good and a price point for everyone.
3/27/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great fresh food. The tuma
Great fresh food. The tuma and
Pasta outstanding. Desserts a must!
3/27/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great place to eat away from the big resorts. Food was outstanding....seafood risotto, pizza, chicken Alfredo. Focaccia bread appetizer delicious. Would highly recommend this place. Reservations a must.
3/28/2013 5:00:00 PM
We enjoyed creative but not
We enjoyed creative but not fancy local foods and seafood and they had good comfort food for the kids. The desserts were worth having first:) We went back twice during our stay and would go again. If only we knew about it early on in our stay!
3/30/2013 5:00:00 PM
Consistently good - Have been
Consistently good - Have been for dinner twice & plan on having lunch at Pesto in Hilo - enough said!
4/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Have been coming to cafe pesto
Have been coming to cafe pesto for many years hen we are on the Big Island. It hasn't changed at all and is an excellent place to eat. Reasonable prices and excellent service. Recommend the risotto!
4/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fun neighborhood cafe
Great local place that lots of people seem to know about. Creative menu with lots of local ingredients. Pizzas are wonderful and the volcano mist salad is something to behold. It looks like a volcano with heirloom tomatoes forming the sides and crunchy dried onions perched on top. Wonderful combination of flavors, including a balsamic-reduction-with-hoisin-sauce dressing that's extraordinary. Only thing that our party of four considered an unforgivable slip-up was that the chef overcooked the local Ono.
4/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Quite possibly the best calamari
Quite possibly the best calamari ever! Everything we ordered was fresh and delicious. Don't come hear if you want the typical American feeding trough of food piled unappetizingly high on your plate, but do come here if you want an excellent meal at a very reasonable price - especially for the islands.
4/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
A great find
Having had great lunch at Cafe Pesto last year, we decided to experience dinner this time. The atmosphere is casual--suitable for families-- although sometimes the noise level can be high because of it. The quality of the food and the friendly staff however, make up for it . The dinner entrees--especially the ribs, the seafood risotto, and the wok fried shrimp and scallops were all delicious. Portions are plentiful. We are looking forward to trying many of their other offerings when we return.
5/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Place for Pizza
This is our favorite place on the Big Island for great pizza. The service and food are always outstanding.
5/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
Nice spot away from typical resort-style restaurants. Service was prompt but not overbearing and the food was great. The baby back ribs are highly recommended.
5/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
OMG the food!!!
We had heard about Cafe Pesto from mainland friends who regularly come to the Big Island. It is their favorite restaurant here. We went there with the intention of getting leftovers for the next night, so we tried many things. The shrimp nachos were incredible - a most unusual and tasty combination. The Volcano salad was good and fresh. We also tried the chicken and mushroom risotto which was huge. But our favorite thing was the Southwest Pizza. What a combination of flavors! And oh-so good the next night as well. Great service too. Thanks Cafe Pesto! We will be back on our next trip... or maybe on this one!
5/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good as always!
Cafe Pesto has always provided a pleasant dining experience. The food is always fantastic and the servers treat you like family. Always great to dine there, I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good place to eat on the Big Island!
5/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Delight from start to finish
What a great place to just "know it's there" to slip away to and have a five star meal. We are big fans of the seafood risotto and blue cheese ceasar salad. Love that they have great island beers on tap. Homemade bread with herb butter to die for. Finish it with a cheesecake made on a chocolate chip cookie crust and you have a memorable scrumptious meal. We went for Father's Day dinner and it was a great way to let Dad know we care.
6/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Consistently good food. Location
Consistently good food. Location in an industrial harbor area is not beautiful but it is convenient, fast and very kid-friendly. As a sometime resident in the Kawaihae area, I go there very often. Pizza is a highlight!
6/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love the fresh catch!!!
I had the tenderloin of beef & Asian tiger shrimp excellencent dish. The beef was very tender & good flavor overall. My wife had the black pepper encrusted fresh catch, which she thoroughly enjoyed. My son loves your pizza. We'll be celebrating his 13th birthday with you!! We visited the Big Island 5 years ago & couldn't wait to come back to your restaurant. A highlight of our trip Keep up the great work! !
6/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great spot in hiding
Dishes are always made with the freshest ingredients as we as extremely tasteful. Especially enjoy the fresh catch of the day on a bed of salad with their fantastic homemade dressing. Portions are generous and pricing is very affordable. Enjoy the fact that Café Pesto is tuck away and a quaint small shopping mall away from the hustle of downtown. Servers are very friendly and attentive.
6/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Love Cafe Pesto
Always a highlight of our travels to Hawaii. This trip, over 2 weeks, we ate here 4 times. Each visit was outstanding. Love that they take reservations.
6/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
A hidden gem in Paradise!
Every time I come to the Big Island, I have to come to Café Pesto. If I'm in Hilo, I go to the Café Pesto there. If I'm on the Kohala Coast, I head up north.
The food is outstanding! I had the best gourmet pizza I've ever had (and I grew up in Brooklyn NY and have traveled the world.) You have to try the pizza with chicken, pesto, and the local goat cheese. Phenomenal! I also love their seafood risotto and have downloaded the recipe from the Café Pesto website and made it at home.
6/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Local restaurant with good food
One of the best Italian restaurants on the Kona coast. Fairly large menu covering seafood, pasta and pizza. We usually have the pizza or one of the nightly specials. Full bar and nice wine list.
7/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Amazing find on the Big Island
My wife and I visited Cafe Pesto about three years ago so when we returned to Hawaii, we made certain that we were able to come back. This place is simply amazing. Being from NY, pizza is a special thing....and who would have thought we could find such great pizza in Hawaii. We had the Hawaiian Luau, BLT, Greek, and Quattro Formaggio - all exceptional. We were sharing slices around the table and arguing who had made the best choice. We even ordered the Hearty Pasta dish which was likewise excellent. If you are visiting the Big Island, and looking for a place away from your hotel, the kind of place the locals eat at....you have to come here. I could not imagine coming back to Hawaii and not eating at least one meal at Cafe Pesto.
7/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Cafe Pesto - excellent as
Cafe Pesto - excellent as always! One of the best restaurants on the Big Island.
7/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
This was our first time to the Cafe Pesto and we couldn't have been happier. There were five in our party and everyone loved their meal. The appetizers were perfect and the passion fruit lemonade was incredible. The waiter and staff were friendly, yet not intrusive. W look forward to returning next time we are on the island.
8/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love this place, service was great for our large group of 8. We try to get here every time we are on the Big island.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
We always look forward to returning to Café Pesto when we return to Kona. Good food and very good service. Highly recommend as a reasonably priced alternative to the Kohala coast.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
when you get tired of Hawaiian
when you get tired of Hawaiian food and hotel prices
8/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Even better than I remember
Cafe Pesto is tucked away in an awkward location, but don't let that stop you. The food is terrific, fresh and consistent. It has been that way for years. My family (my kids actually) talk about the crab cakes all the time...they are terrific. I had a pasta with scallops and shrimp and it was fantastic. The interior could maybe use an update, but despite that this is one of my favorite Big Island restaurants. Don't forget to order the mac nut cookie with the coffee ice cream.
9/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
A special gem to treasure for small or large group. Prices reasonable, food fresh, ambiance excellent.
9/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
A pleasant change from the resort restaurants. Friendly staff, nice ambiance in bar area and restaurant, good variety of menu items expertly prepared. Everyone was pleased with apps, main courses and desserts. Recommended highly and the pizza is also worth trying if you want light fare.
9/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Skip the over priced resort tourist traps and head for Pesto. Price is right (well, it is Hawaii), and food is flavorful, hearty and yummy. We're regular visitors here and always find a night or two for Pesto.
9/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Have been coming to this restaurant for more than 10 years and always look forward to their signature dishes. A wonderful alternative on the Big Island to hotel cuisine. Great value and food always prepared perfectly.
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food was great, service was excellent, the location is not that great, no reall view of the sunset, there's a cement factory blocking the view. Plus, when we were there, they had some construction going on in the parking lot. The food was excellent though!
10/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Crab cakes and pizza were awesome. Best pizza on the big island.
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always Great Food and Service
The food was great as usual and so was the service.
10/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
As I expected our dinner at Cafe Pesto was perfect. The food was awesome ... The crab cakes are to die for!
11/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good food, good service
The Salmon Alfredo was as good as we remembered. The coconut Calamari was good, but a little too greasy, should have been drained on paper towels first. Love the orange sauce which accompanies it. I ordered the ribs. Not a big fan. Not enough meat, not a fan of the sauce and a little too fatty. I would not order this again. The Jasmine rice was bland, could have used some salt in the cooking process. The steamed veggies were very crisp and loved that mushrooms were added to the green beans. It was my daughter's 14th birthday. I made reservations letting Café Pesto know this was a birthday, but I had to remind the waitress, no one enlightened her. We really appreciate that Café Pesto gives a complementary dessert for a birthday.
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food is outstanding! We have eaten here four times and everything is wonderful and reasonably priced. Pastas and pizza are fabulous and the coconut tart is perfect. My husband is a dessert lover and said the tart was the best dessert he's ever had. After several nights of expensive hotel food cafe pesto is always a treat.
11/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Always a great meal
We love this place and always have a great experience here. Good food!
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
If you've never tried kahlua pork or turkey on your pizza try it here
11/24/2013 4:00:00 PM