Only in Hilo: Cafe Pesto Hilo

IMG_7858.JPGOnly in Hilo: Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay

Cafe Pesto is located in the S. Hata Building in downtown Hilo. I remember going there as a child with my Grandma Mary to shop for bolts of fabric. She called it “Hata’s” back then. I have fond memories of the shops in downtown Hilo. Tiny Town, AhMai Inc., Hilo Dry Goods, Edith’s Dress Shop, Caravan Town, and Kress were among some of the stores I remember going to. It’s weird to think that thirty years from now my kids will probably reminisce about the days when I’d take them to Target! Funny!

That’s enough reminiscing, back to Cafe Pesto! Recently, my husband wanted to take some friends to dinner there. We went on a Thursday night and it was packed. We had reservations and were seated quickly. We ordered drinks along with the shrimp nachos and the smoked salmon pizzette as appetizers from our server Rodney.


Did you know that Cafe Pesto allows you to bring in a bottle of your own for a corkage fee? I didn’t until that evening and this johnny-come-lately is very distraught over all of those wasted years! If you like Veuve Clicquot, read about our experience visiting the Veuve Cellars in France here


Smoked Salmon Pizzette Appetizer – learned about this from Anne, she always orders this. In fact, this is Anne’s pic! We ate our pizzette before I remembered to snap a quick photo! We don’t dilly-dally when it comes to noshing around here!

1C0C39AA-C441-4843-868A-0D82FB61264C.JPGShrimp Nachos Appetizer – always ʻono!

For dinner we ordered the following that evening:


Large Southwestern Pizza – my husband enjoys the combination of flavors and will order this often, minus the goat cheese.


Salad Special with Fresh Fish – This salad is always a good choice if you want a healthy option. Yeah I know, let’s just pretend the won ton pi strips are healthy too 😉


Smoked Salmon Pasta – I’m madly in love with this dish! That night I asked for chicken instead of the smoked salmon. It’s really good with the salmon too, but the piece is smallish for me. If ordered with chicken, it’s a larger amount of protein. That way I tell myself I’ll have less of a “carb coma” afterward. Ha!

Laulau and Fish Special – our friend’s daughter came back home to Hilo for Easter weekend and joined us that evening. She loves Cafe Pesto and she loved this dish!


Bananas foster was the highlight of the desserts and it came with a ridiculous amount of vanilla bean ice cream! So good!

If you are in the mood for some great food in Hilo, visit Cafe Pesto, it never disappoints! Only in Hilo (oops, Kawaihae too!)


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