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Cafe Pesto

Kawaihae Shopping Center, Kawaihae Harbor Hwy. 270, Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743
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Ranked #6 of 8 restaurants in Kawaihae
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Price range: $30 - $35
Cuisines: Eclectic
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Akoni Pule Hwy
Description: "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.
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465 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Reno Nevada
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014 NEW

The great reviews probably say more about the lack of competition in this beautiful part of the coast. Our problem was that we were a party of 11 and made a reservation. It was late (8 pm) and many tables were clearing out, five four-tops in a row, and they said we couldn't be seated together and had to split... More

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Los Angeles, California
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

I frequented this restaurant and the one in Hilo. I loved the seafood risotto there. During this last trip, the risotto was bland, not to mention, over priced. The other dishes we ordered were also sub-par...and during our last visit, a field mouse was running under the table... yikes!! Disappointed.... and probably won't be returning...

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Ojai, California
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
287 helpful votes 287 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

We spend a week every year on the Big Island and always eat at Cafe Pesto at least once, sometimes twice. Our kids love the pizza, pasta with veggies and turkey from the kids' menu. We usually get the Pizza Luau and the Shrimp Pizza. Both are amazing - our mouths start watering when we enter the door. We always... More

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Cape Cod
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

After reading the reviews we decided to give this place a try. The food was well prepared however the red sauce was overly sweet (big error for a Italian resturant) which is why we did not rate it a very good. Hopefully it was only a one time mistake and I would go back for another try. We noticed the... More

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Chilliwack, B.C.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

Cafe Pesto doesn't look that exciting from the outside, sitting in a strip mall as it does, but things change once you walk inside. Nice decor, really good food--in fact, we enjoyed our lunch so much that we ordered a gourmet wild mushroom/artichoke pizza (unbaked, so that we could bake it in our condo that evening) and a blue cheese... More

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Green River, Wyoming
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We stopped at Cafe Pesto because our GPS recommended it! So glad we did! It is located in a little strip mall along the harbor, so the outside is not overwhelmingly inviting, but once you step inside, what a pleasant surprise! The staff couldn't have been more accommodating! We ate fish everywhere we went in Hawaii , but the fish... More

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Palo Alto, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

I am generous in reviews when traveling. I make concessions. But this place needs to finally be called out. It's prices have exceeded many resort prices and it's luster is gone. My last three visits, out of 6, they have got my takeout order wrong AND FOUGHT ME EACH TIME. Never an I'm sorry. Now I feel stupid for taking... More

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

The food was great. Had the New York cut medium rare cooked to perfection. Drinks had a extra dose of alcohol no need for two.

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

19 years ago we found this wonderful restaurant and have been going back every year we visit the Big Island. We have had everything on the menu and then some. Wonderful seafood dishes. If you like fish, you should always get the catch of the day. Both restaurants are well worth the drive for lunch or dinner. Every dish is... More

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

To be fair, we were tired and hungry from scuba diving, so we really weren't prepared for a leisurely sit down lunch, but this place was recommended by the dive shop in the same shopping center and it lived up to the cred. You MUST try the focaccia - it's a delicious and flavorful starter. I just had a organic... More

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