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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.42mi
  2. Distance: 0.48mi
  3. Distance: 0.50mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
  1. Distance: 0.42mi
  2. Distance: 0.48mi
  3. Distance: 0.50mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.42mi
  2. Distance: 0.48mi
  3. Distance: 0.50mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi
  1. Distance: 0.42mi
  2. Distance: 0.48mi
  3. Distance: 0.50mi
  4. Distance: 0.50mi

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 Shopping Center / lower level
61-3665 HI-270
Kawaihae, HI 96743
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:30pm; Dinner: Nightly: 4:30pm - 9:00pm

Cross Street:
Akoni Pule Hwy

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(808) 882-1071

Website:
http://cafepesto.com/

Executive Chef:
Moses Tavares

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Cafe Pesto - Kawaihae Harbor Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

3.8

value

3.9

Noise

Quiet

89% would recommend it to a friend

Local Ingredients (6)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Casual (4)
See All
Cozy (3)
Fit for Foodies (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Healthy (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Special Occasion (2)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Authentic (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Scenic View (1)
Waterfront (1)
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649 reviews
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 (Tahoe)·Dined on September 28, 2017

A great and affordable place to dine in west shore Hawaii. Casual dining, fresh fish, affordable food, nice people.

Tags: Organic, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on September 25, 2017

Service timely. Weekday lunch with few patrons. No noise level at all- great. Great pasta salad and fresh catch fish sandwich. A top notch dining spot.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Birthday celebration. Awesome food and comp desert

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on September 20, 2017

The food was very good, fresh ingredients! The service was impeccable. The night we dined was mid-week so the restaurant was quiet and we were able to get a table near the window to watch the sunset.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 17, 2017

Our favorite restaurant on The Big Island. We've been coming here for 21 years.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 16, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Part of Birthday celebration

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Always good! Thanks for over 20 years of good food and service!

Tags: Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 23, 2017

We've been here before and always ordered pizza. This time we tried two different pastas, and they were good, but it's probably best to go with pizza here.

Tags: Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 21, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Great food and service. We love the rosemary gorgonzola focaccia.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 19, 2017

After dining at Cafe Pesto in Hilo, we were looking fwd to trying this other location expecting to have the same great dining experience however it wasn't anything near Hilo location.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service3
value1

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 15, 2017

We had a most enjoyable dinner. The salads are super and the soup, which was a tomato and pepper creme was very tasty. Always enjoy Cafe Pesto.

Tags: Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 10, 2017

Always good. We are regulars and always enjoy our meals.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 5, 2017

We haven't been back to Cafe Pesto in a number of years. Had their seafood risotto and it's still delicious!!

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on August 2, 2017

A nice experience in a comfortable friendly atmosphere. The Rosemary Gorgonzola Foccacia is delicious.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Consistently good food. No view and ok service. Fresh. Better for lunch than dinner, definitely

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience2
service3
value4

 
·Dined on July 21, 2017

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

Tags: Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on July 14, 2017

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!

Tags: Casual, Authentic, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Wait staff was excellent and service was quick. Vegan options explained and verified with chef. We always enjoy our visit to Cafe Pesto on our trips to the Big Island. You won't be disappointed.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Vancouver)·Dined on June 11, 2017

Great food, neighborhood jewel!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 5, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on June 3, 2017

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.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on June 2, 2017

Always a good choice with delicious specials and excellent service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on June 1, 2017

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.

Tags: Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on May 31, 2017

Charming waiter who gave great suggestions and personal service to us😊

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Waterfront, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Happy Hour, People Watching, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu, Casual, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Healthy, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Late-night Find, Great for Brunch, Live Music, Good for Anniversaries, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on May 27, 2017

Excellent!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on May 19, 2017

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.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Scenic View, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Quick Bite, Vibrant Bar Scene, Waterfront, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Disabled Access, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Kid-friendly, Sunday Lunch, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on May 16, 2017

We visit Cafe Pesto whenever we come to the Big Island. The food and service are consistently good. We have never been disappointed. This is just a good place for pleasant dining at a sensible price.

Tags: Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 15, 2017

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.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Casual, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on May 12, 2017

Always good. We go to Cafe Pesto a few times a year and always enjoy it.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on May 10, 2017

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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on May 10, 2017

Excellent service and great food! Marc had a good sense of humor. Celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary with them.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on May 8, 2017

We loved it. We were looking for dinner and most places close at 4:30 or you have to pay out the rear at a hotel. This place was perfect.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on May 6, 2017

The food is always good here. We come back here often.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on May 5, 2017

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on May 2, 2017

Calimari is top notch...shrimp pizza is a winner!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on May 2, 2017

Our annual trip to the BI always includes at least one meal at Cafe Pesto...great pizza and outstanding coconut tart!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 24, 2017

Great place to eat on the Big Island! We visit whenever we can.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on April 17, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service4
value2

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