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“Dining in Colonial Style” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Pesto

Cafe Pesto
308 Kamehameha Ave Ste 101, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2960
+1 808-969-6640
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Ranked #8 of 206 Restaurants in Hilo
Price range: $11 - $25
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Scenic view, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Mamo Street
Transit: Bus stop across street.
Description: Cafe Pesto offers creative and locally fresh Island cuisine in a casually elegant setting at truly affordable prices. It's menu draws from the diverse multicultural influences found throughout the Big Island and applies them to wood fired pizzas, ethnically inspired pastas, risottos, the freshest of seafood and organic salads.
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Dining in Colonial Style”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014 NEW

The place oozes colonial style, which we loved. The food was certainly good and the staff was wonderfully laid back. There was live jazz when we were there and that certainly helped with the colonial atmosphere, we felt like we landed in 1930's Hawaii. The place was packed on Sunday evening, an evening when not much else is open in Hilo.

  • Visited December 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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818 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    388
    311
    87
    25
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Indiana
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Mostly delicious dinner”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014 NEW

We made reservations for Cafe Pesto on a Monday night and we're glad we did, because the place was packed. We were seated immediately.

Our waiter was competent enough, but all business and not at all friendly. He came off abrupt with every interaction. The other staff members who delivered our food, refilled our water, and cleared our plates did so with a smile. So maybe he was just having an off night?

I ordered the mixed green salad to start, with Gorgonzola vinaigrette. And it was divine. My husband also liked his Caesar salad starter. The waiter swayed me to the fresh catch feature, said they were known for their seafood. So I ordered the Ahi tuna seared rare with mashed potatoes and a leek cream sauce. The sauce was good (hello, cream) but overall the dish was forgettable. What was with the dry arugula and tomatoes on the side?

I would up with food envy over my husband's barbecue chicken and goat cheese pizza, which was really good.

Overall we were satisfied with the food. But the unfriendly service, loud environment, and high bill all combine to leave us looking elsewhere next time we dine out.

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Hamden, Connecticut
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
“NONG Pizza”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014

We went to this place for lunch. Since we don't eat eggs and no onion or garlic either, we ordered a customized margherita pizza. It was really great - lots of cheese, tomatoes and basicl. A pretty heavy lunch!

Visited December 2014
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Enumclaw, Washington
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Wonderful Food, Nice Ambiance”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014

We enjoyed Cafe Pesto for a late lunch on our last day in the area. Had we stayed longer, we would have come back again. The restaurant had quieted down by the time we arrived, so we had a window seat. We had a bit more than a peek-a-boo view of the bay and a great view of people walking by on the street as well as several hippy looking individuals who were just hanging out in front.

I ordered a basil pasta seafood dish which was very good. My husband ordered the chicken/mushroom risotto, which was excellent. If we had returned to Cafe Pesto, I would definitely had ordered it. Overall, great food and nice atmosphere.

  • Visited November 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Great "pulled turkey" sandwich”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2014

The Hakalau sandwich was billed as Kaiua turkey, which is essentially an emu cooked turkey. Delicious. My husband ordered a pizza, which was cooked to perfection.
Wait staff was very friendly, and our visit was after the rush of a large lunch crowd. Very commendable.
Easy to find on the mail street of HIlo, and worth a visit before or after you visit the Saturday market (or anytime!).

Visited December 2014
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