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About 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.
Kawaihae, HI 96743
Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:30pm; Dinner: Nightly: 4:30pm - 9:00pm
Akoni Pule Hwy
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Cafe Pesto - Kawaihae Harbor Ratings and Reviews
Pretty disappointed. First time there. No host on duty. Waited to even to be acknowledged for several minutes as the bartender was doing double duty. There was a line of about 10 people behind us, all with reservations.
Once seated, the service was attentive and friendly.
The food, however, was the biggest disappointment. I opted for the special chicken stir fry over a kind of noodle.
There was was so much sugar and red pepper over undercooked pasta, it was pretty unappetizing.
My dinner partners agreed that the poke wasn't right and the chicken risotto was pasty and flavorless.
This is one of our favorite places to eat when we visit the north shore of Hawaii. The must have item for us is the Volcano Mist salad, so called because it's shaped like a volcano, with curls of mozzarella cheese erupting out the top. Really exceptional, with heirloom tomatoes, crispy onions and a balsamic reduction. Our pizza was good, too, but a 12-inch pizza with three items (mushrooms, pepperoni, and bell peppers) for $26 was a little steep, we thought. Overall, very good and you can see a pretty good sunset through the trees.
Food was fine, nothing special. Focaccia bread was delicious. Problem was our waiter. Never cracked a smile or seemed that interested in us. Tables around us got attentive service from him but not us we weren't told the specials or even asked if we wanted a beverage. We did order our own beverages but never offered a refill or a second cocktail. Bill was brought to us before we were done with no offer of dessert or something else. He obviously wanted us out if there, maybe because we were a gay couple I don't know. Hostess was incredibly friendly, girl pouring water was sour. What could have been a pleasant enough evening was only made memorable by its poor service
Cafe Pesto is a must dining place to go when staying north of Kailua-Kona as it is a bit of a drive otherwise. We go there when we're vacationing. Excellent food, friendly, accommodating and helpful service. Excellent huge homemade cookies to buy to eat later!
Get away from the resorts on the Kona side and go here. The food is phenomenal and our server was clearly knowledgeable and passionate about the food created and served. It's not the place for ambiance or views but it's a place we will go to every time we are on the Big Island. I had the seafood risotto. It was worth the price and more. Can't wait to go again to try more things on the menu.
The food is always excellent. They have a great "volcano" salad that can easily be shared by two people. Their menu has a lot of variety and my wife especially enjoyed the mushroom-chicken risotto. We try to visit this popular restaurant whenever we are in Hawaii.
Cafe Pesto was excellent in particular good sized portions; very tasty and excellent value.
Ono with jasmine rice and veggies excellent! Service very friendly and consistent.
Would recoommend for any occasion - unassuming location and very modest amibiance but food and choices make this a winner.
our server was attentive and service was excellent. food was amazing. we ordered the shrimp nachos for the first time and it was delicious and ORIGINAL :) kudos. and also shared my alltime favorite southwestern chicken pizza! handcrafted drinks were also great. tried the coconut lime margarita, blended and on the rocks, both very delicious and original. also had the passion martini, a bit dry for me, but switched to a coconut cranberry cosmo and that was perfect! i come every so often, i live on the big island, one of my favorite things about this italian cuisine restaurant is just the way it looks. it has a very warm, inviting, island feel to it decorated with hawaiian paintings and portraits and has that classic black and white tile italian floors.
We have been visiting the Big Island for over 15 years and Cafe Pesto in Kawaihae is one of our top go-to restaurants when we want great pizza and/or pasta. Very friendly to visitors from the mainland, which we appreciate. I always order the Pizza Luau with their Caesar salad. Pastas are also wonderful, especially with seafood.
Whenever we visit the Big Island, Cafe Pesto's is a must. Our days/nights were tight and were concerned whether we would be able to go to Cafe Pesto's.
Well, an afternoon found us in the Kawaihae are and we stopped in for a late lunch. CherryLynn was our server and she was ad delight. Helpful, friendly, and recommended excellent optios. My wife had the Miloli'i dish and her only negative comment was the portion size; she wish there were more.
Well, as luck would have it, our guests went on an afternoon/night tours so my wife and I ventured back to the Cafe for dinner. She was alittle disappointed that the Miloli'i was not offerred as a dinner entree. I requested CherryLynn to be our server and expressed our concern that the dish was NOT on the dinner menu. I asked if one could be ordered. She claimed that most anything could be done. Well, my wife had her sought-after dinner dish and peace was returned to our table.
Cafe Pesto's has always delighted my wife with the rather tasty dishes and the variety of exotic cocktails for her to sample.
Having CherryLynn pusjed the experience over the top. Will definitely return for all of our future visits and will also reocmmend the restaurant to anyone we find out who are headed for the Big Island.
We had been to the one in Hilo and came to this one, and we enjoyed it. Great variety of food options. The "Something Hearty" pasta dish was indeed that - very tasty and generous portion. Service was good, prices are very reasonable by Hawaii standards. The ambiance inside is fine, but the outside area is "ok". You can see the water across the street, but it's adjacent to an industrial looking area - so it's not a romantic spot. But other than that, I would highly recommend it.
How the mighty has fallen -- once upon a time this place was IT! Now, not so much -- the decor is tired (the same it was 15 years ago) and a tad dirty, the market catch is way overpriced and portion sizes are small. If you do go, stick to pizzas and calzones (that is their wheelhouse). Everything else is blah. We ordered ono and ahi (both need to be medium to rare to be enjoyed, and server agreed); both were over cooked and dried out. Servers were cheerful and courteous. Food did not meet expectations. Bummer.
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