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Ratings and reviews

Travellers' Choice2023
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
€11 - €36
CUISINES
Italian, Pizza
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about
Reviews (1,941)
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Traveller rating
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17
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All reviews pizza salad seafood risotto bread cheesecake crab cakes fresh fish ahi pineapple the big island great lunch hawaii greek crust luau lemonade toppings
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Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

We enjoyed a nice family lunch at Cafe Pesto upon arrival in Hilo. Menu is quite large with enough options for everyone. Standouts were the Milolii sandwich, pork banh mi and the luau pork pizza. Cocktails were dynamite. Our server, Marcos was efficient and the...bus boy was outstanding with topping waters and clearing plates. Love that it is in an historic storefront along Hilo Bay. The building is beautiful, giant ceilings and nicely decorated. Chairs were comfortable, too.More

Date of visit: June 2024
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 29 April 2024

After not being impressed with Hilo at all (it seems to be mostly a dive and not terribly safe), we came across Cafe Pesto. The menu had quite a number of nice options, and while they seemed to like garlic a LOT, the food ended...up being quite good. The service was prompt and good, and they managed to serve a ton of people quickly and efficiently. Well-run, and good staff. Little things like keeping water glasses filled and constantly circling to make sure things were good are the signs of a great restaurant -- kudos to you! Definitely recommend it.More

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed 28 April 2024

Excellent restaurant in the heart of downtown Hilo. Menu had something for everyone, from pizzas to pasta and risotto to excellent seafood options. Our server was attentive and helped us with menu decisions and the atmosphere is lovely--old-style charm. Best restaurant we ate in in...Hilo.More

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed 22 April 2024

This spot was recommended by someone we met at a luau at the hotel. The Loco Moco was the best we have ever had. It is a bright and cheery restaurant especially on the rainy afternoon we were there.

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed 15 March 2024 via mobile

Great stop after a long day in Volcanoes NP. Service was fast and friendly and the food was delicious. We were prepared to be annoyed by the musicians playing but they were honestly great! (3/6). Highly recommend Cafe Pesto

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 6 March 2024 via mobile

We were look for a good, not-too upscale place to celebrate our son’s birthday, and this turned out to be a great choice. It’s awesomely to see a great concept be executed with attention to detail, in this case Italian technique brought to local ingredients...and plates. The individual pizza was a hit with our youngest, with a crust so delicate that it got eaten. The loco moco though is the star of the show: we had it as both a burger and the traditional presentation. Attention to detail shone: meats and eggs were perfectly cooked according to our different preferences, and the gravy was some of the best. The fried onions and quick pickles were also very good—not an afterthought. We very much appreciated the lack of a nag screen for a tip (European sensibilities). Our waiter had been their for 10 years, which tells us the restaurant practices paying fairly. One tiny negative: the restaurant is in a 1930s building and has great high ceilings—covered by a pan acoustic dropped ceiling. Would love to see it restored!More

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed 21 February 2024 via mobile

We arrived after a long day visiting the volcanoes. We were tired and hungry. Fortunately we were greeted with pleasant smiles and great service. Our server Aaron was helpful and friendly. We ordered two pizzas…the Luau and the smoked salmon. My husband and I split...them and enjoyed them a lot…Delicious!! And I have to mention the quality of the crust…fantastic!! We wish this restaurant was closer to where we’re staying on the Big Island. We’d definitely return. Highly recommend eating at Cafe Pesto.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed 15 February 2024

Cafe Pesto is a great choice in Hilo. Located in an older building in the downtown waterfront area. We tried the shrimp nachos appetizer and it was excellent! Nice variety on the menu and everything was delicious! Cafe Pesto is listed on a number of...eateries lists for Hilo, and it's well deserved.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed 23 January 2024

We had dinner here on a Sunday which was not crowded. The service was fine and here was a sax and bass providing background music, maybe jazzy. My wife had a greek pizza, and it was OK but a little strange tasting, pesto based with...vegs and feta. The crust was uninteresting to us, a different style than we expected for pizza. I had seafood risotto which was interesting, different, had some balsamic on it and lots of saffron. the shrimp were very good, nicely flavored before grilling and the ahi was a bit overcooked (I asked for med rare) but still tasted good. The room is quite nice, and location easy, but a lot of homeless on street outside spoiled the atmosphere.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 15 January 2024 via mobile

This place was great food ! Hibachi Risotto was amazing. Cheese cake not so good, but the crembole was amazing.. The only thing I would change is the homeless camps outside the restraunt very uncomfortable walking g into this place even though they had security,...there still not a good atmosphere when paying these pricesMore

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed 9 December 2023 via mobile

Very casual setting with very tasty food. Waiter very pleasant and inviting. The shrimp nachos were fantastic! Most unusual nachos we had ever had, with subtle but pleasing flavor in the sauce and the mango salsa fresco beautifully paired with the chips. We had the...seafood risotto, which had only a piece of fish and 4 shrimp, but was very flavorful and allowed room for dessert! We also had the crab cake salads which was also very good with a lot of crab and nicely breaded panko crust. Dessert was both the hot apple crisp w/ macadamia nuts, ala mode, and the coconut tart. Would definitely eat here again.More

Date of visit: December 2023
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Reviewed 17 November 2023

The restaurant is located in the seafront area of Hilo, there is parking outside the restaurant. It is purely my personal opinion, I was travelling alone and the area around the restaurant had quite a number of homeless people around and some of them were...wandering around the streets. It is not a particularly busy area so I didn’t feel very safe. The internal decor is modern and the height gives it a lot of space. I didn’t particularly have much interaction with the staff, they showed me to the table, took my order and gave me the bill that is about it. I had the Loco Moco which is a mix of different sorts of food put together. Overall, it was quite different but nonetheless a pleasant dish to eat.More

Date of visit: May 2023
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Reviewed 26 October 2023 via mobile

Good location on the main road in Hilo next to the farmers market. Good for lunch or dinner with excellent food. Friendly service and interesting atmosphere. Not sure what the building was used for before it was a restaurant but nice decor.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 18 October 2023 via mobile

My wife had seafood riossto which she said was incredible. Service was exceptional. I had classico pizza, excellent. Highly recommend. Good ambiance.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 28 September 2023 via mobile

We had just arrived in Hilo and wanted something with Pesto on it. I got 4 cheese pizza with pesto, slightly undercooked and not the best pesto sauce. The other problem was we had a window seat and a man was banging on a bongo...and leading at us during our meal. We decided after so/so good and a not so nice location not to eat on this street again.More

Date of visit: September 2023
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
25 April 2021|
Answer
Response from ElJefedeDiablo | Reviewed this property |
Yes!
1
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Nancie W
15 February 2019|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Rvdveer | Reviewed this property |
I was there in September and the restaurant wasn’t full but some large groups and there was four of us and could easily hear each other. I personally really enjoyed all this restaurant had to offer. Maybe book and ask to be... More
2
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maresap2014
1 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from cphilo | Property representative |
Hi Maresa, I have you down for 3 people at 6:30, can you please send us a contact number? Aloha, Casey
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CAFE PESTO HILO BAY - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay

Yes, Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay offers takeaway services.

Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4