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“We Ate Here a Lot ...”

Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay
Ranked #5 of 243 Restaurants in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $25
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic, Scenic view, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Takeout
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.
Anchorage, Alaska
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“We Ate Here a Lot ...”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Burgers for lunch at the Kawaihae location were OK - if you're over that way, you may as well go to Village Burger in Waimea which is much better. We had lunch (pizza & salad) once and dinner twice (pizzas to-go and Valentine's date) at the Hilo location. Pizzas are what they do best, for sure, though the salads are also excellent. Hard to go wrong with the amazing variety of local produce available. Dinner entrees were good, not great. I had the risotto which had an excellent variety of fresh seafoods (only one lonely scallop?) The dessert cheesecake had a creamy, smooth texture complemented nicely by the sweet/tart passion fruit sauce.

For the love of pete, clean up the bathroom at the Hilo location! It's very off-putting to go from a lovely meal to a filthy bathroom and back ... every dang time.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank akHondaGrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,455 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Clemente, California
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Fresh fare and friendly service”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Arrived after 8 from Volcano, disappointed, hungry and tired. Split small pizza w/salad. Pizza was very good, but oh, the locally grown romaine lettuce in the caesar salad was divine! Would go back just for that. Town closes up by 9 but this place was still full at 8. Park your car where you and others can see it. Back streets felt very sketchy.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Pacific_Pam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Twice in two days”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Cafe pesto was recommended by our innkeeper. We got into town later and arrived at 730 on a Monday night. They were quite busy, but just a short wait, so we window shopped around the building.
Our waiter was good, but served me the regular tenderloin instead of the special. Garlic mashed potatoes, very good, vegetables-bland, steak was tender, quite nice.
My wife had the ahi fish special, was delicious.
For desert we had the coconut flan -excellent.

The next day we strolled into town at 2:30 after the botanical garden and akaka falls walk. Too late for most of the restaurants we wanted to try, so back to cafe pesto.
I had a great hamburger and my wife had the open seafood sandwich. Very satisfying lunch.
The service is great, food is very good.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Rick L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great dinner”
Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

Friends recommended this restaurant highly so we went for dinner. People of all ages. Nice quiet acoustical guitar and dinner for entertainment. Our waiter was very personable and suggested some food that we didn't select that he thought we would like. When our food came it was great and we were surprised to see a small sample of what he recommended on the side even though we didn't choose it He wanted us to know what we were missing with our meal and we discovered he was right. Now we have to go back again to have that next time!
Great place.

Thank Julie O
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Bakersfield, Ca.
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We went to the Cafe Pesto for dinner while in Hilo on a suggestion from a gas station attendant. Loved the ambiance when we walked in. Were readily seated. Menu looked like a lot of good choices, and all 4 of us decided on a couple different specials, one of them being a coconut crusted fish, with your option of 4 different fish. Sounded so good........but when the waiter came to take our order, he said they were out of the coconut fish (and this was fairly early evening.). OK.....my husband asked about the salmon fettuccine....the waiter said "Why would you order salmon when it doesn't come from Hawaii?" I asked about the chicken options, and he said "Why would you order chicken"...and went on to describe how the chickens are raised in these small cages with all kinds of additives to make them grow fast, quickly, etc. etc.. OK...now I have lost my appetite for just about anything. I guess we did ask for suggestions.......but have never in my life had a waiter be so negative when asking about their dishes. Didn't ask his opinion.....but ordered the shrimp scampi. The other 3 in the party ordered the steak special (grown in Hawaii.) The food was so, so! THe shrimp scampi was mediocre. I tasted my husband's gorgonzola butter steak and although melted in your mouth, it lacked taste. But he was OK with it. All 3 in the party thought that they had ordered the steak special, which came with bacon wrapped mushrooms, but only 1 of them got this preparation. They asked, and the waiter brought some extra mushrooms for them. Well........guess we should have ordered the pizza from other reviews.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CBergmanRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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