Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.foreigncinema.com/
  • Phone: 4156487600
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday thru Friday, seating from 6pm until 10pm. Saturday seating from 5:30pm until 11pm. Sunday seating from 5:30pm until 9pm. Weekend Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11:00am until 2:30pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Gayle Pirie & John Clark
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Movies; see restaurant website for schedule. While we try to honor all request, none are guaranteed.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 21st St.
  • Public Transit: MUNI: 14 Mission bus; BART: 16th & 24th/Mission station
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet is available, $10
A word from Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema is a 'one of a kind', nationally acclaimed restaurant combining foreign and independent films with Cal-Med cooking. Enjoy an industrial chic setting, complete with outdoor courtyard, mezzanine and full bar.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Foreign Cinema reviews from OpenTable diners
454 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (296)fit for foodies (295)special occasion (251)romantic (221)hot spot (170)neighborhood gem (169)good for groups (162)notable wine list (125)great for brunch (108)vibrant bar scene (61)late-night find (51)great for lunch (28)kid-friendly (23)scenic view (10)Show More
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We have lived in SF for 2.5 years and been to many great restaurants. For some reason we had not been to Foreign Cinema but now I look forward to coming back soon. We loved the appetizer menu so we decided we (my wife and I) would share one entree (Pork) and also share 4 appetizers (tuna, beef carpaccio, cod, calamari. That turned out to be a great approach. All the food was amazing. We loved every dish. It truly was a great experience and can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cute place, food was ok
    jcsunVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    My husband and I came here while on our first trip to San Francisco. I chose this restaurant because of the reviews and how unique and different of an experience I thought this would be. The ambience and setting were absolutely great. I wanted to like the food more but was mixed. Portions were small, the dinner entrees a bit simple. I liked my sole though but my husband was underwhelmed by the swordfish. Dessert was awesome though, got the chèvre cheesecake. Our server was great. She was friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Spot --Still On the Fence
    LopakaVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Nice spot. Gave us a great table and a nice memento from the restaurant's 15 anniversary party. Great server he even laughed at my jokes. Calamari was really memorable. We ordered a ton of food multiple starters with our entree - but walked away kinda hungry. I guess my personal bottom line? Small portions - stopping it from being the complete package! But I Liked it..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, beautiful setting
    wcham
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Always enjoy my dinners here!:) Great food, beautiful setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great special occasion dinner
    foodaholic
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We went for husband and son's birthdays. It was pricey but worth it. Great service by our waiter Robbie and interesting set up to be able to watch a movie on the side of the brick building. Funky little bar next-door with upstairs seating so can relax and converse or check out the neighborhood. Recommend bringing own wine. Parking wasn't a problem at 5:45pm. We had a duck appetizer, poke, oysters (yum) and sautéed calamari in chile sauce (meh). The pork chop was oh so good. Tender and juicy with a lick-the-plate sauce.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best in the Mission
    WandersoloVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Came here for brunch or dinner and both were fantastic. The New West brunch cocktail is a great take on the Aperol Spritz. Loved the Lavender baked goat cheese in a fig leaf and the Plancha of Monterey calamari with Oaxacan-style mole was to die for! I mean, that's the best mole I've ever had and wanted to lick it clean off.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Left before dinner
    Chris
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I've been here quite a bit. My wife and I had our after-ceremony dinner here. I've always loved it so when we had a guest in town, we thought we'd show him one of our favorite spots in San Francisco. Last night; however, was a wholly disappointing experience. Showed up at 8 and our table was ready (awesome). Sat down and waited 20 minutes for a waiter to show. Ordered cocktails and waited another 25 minutes for them with only one visit from the waiter after 15 minutes (at which point he said they were stirring the cocktails). After that, we decided to leave and dine elsewhere. The waiter didn't seem concerned that we left before we even finished our drinks. The couple sitting next to us was having similar issues with the same waiter.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous evening!
    Gigantefan
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We were a large group seated right smack in the center of the outdoor courtyard. Food was excellent-you could here the oohs and ahhs throughout the evening. A perfect way to cap our San Francisco experience. Thank you for a memorable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome!
    Pizzaman
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We were in from out of town and took a chance that this place would be all its web site said it would and IT WAS ! Great menu, fun atmosphere, exceptional service...the film was a bonus. One of those restaurants where you can tell that all are enjoying the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun Date Night
    CaliCuisineLover
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We really enjoyed all the dishes we were served and our wine was fantastic as well. I love finding a restaurant where you can become absorbed in the food and atmosphere and not feel rushed. Worth every penny!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still Don't Get This Place
    DannyG
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    So many people rave about this place, but I still don't get it. I was underwhelmed on my 1st visit for dinner a while ago but, nonetheless, my friend and I decided to give it a try for brunch. The menu looked decent and had a lot of non-egg and healthy options which are always good to have. Have to say that service was pretty slow (to be fair to them it was toward the end of the brunch session). More worryingly, the food wasn't anything special. The best thing was the salad, and the accompanying bacon with my friend's egg dish was pretty tasty. The squid dish wasn't great - textures and flavors just didn't work. I'll probably give Foreign Cinema one more chance, but not in a hurry to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Expected more
    IHeartFoodExperiences
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    My first time here. The ambience was incredible and was probably what saved the evening for me. Food was ok, I ordered the tandoori lamb and left hungry due to the tiny protein portion which was fatty and undercooked to the point of being raw. The flavors were pleasant but I hate leaving a restaurant where I paid $80 for my meal and leave hungry.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Up there with the best.
    DiningCharlestonVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Every detail of this place is interesting. Someone put their heart and soul into the eclectic, tasteful decor at Foreign Cinema. The menu has Indian, Latin and Mediterranean influences and a plethora of delicious small plate to try. If you're not in the mood for small plates, there were some delicious looking entrees on offer. Bravo.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • outstanding service - average food
    visitor
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    we loved the ambiance and were impressed with really good service but the food was only average. It seems as if the chef was insecure about the use of spices and sauces and hence mixed too many things into one dish (trying to be fancy) and therefore ruined the flavour of the individual ingredients. My wife had a rice dish that had (among others) a vinaigrette sauce that was so intense that the whole dish just tasted like that and nothing else. That was pretty boring to be honest. Loved the fresh oysters as our starter though!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun at Foreign Cinema
    Smaroda
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    My wife and I were on our honeymoon in SF. Stopped by Foreign Cinema on a Tuesday night, per a local's recommendation. The vibe was happening, it was packed. The wine list was unique, and wines were available in 500ml carafe sizes, perfect for a two person dinner. The pork chop was top notch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy outdoor charm
    MiamiNiceVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We loved our romantic dinner at Foreign Cinema!! Thanks for your good recommendations, Nina, a special waitress! The movie started as we were finishing....great idea to have outdoor movie!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great setting, average food
    PaulH
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Setting is great, service was good to OK, food was OK (except for the fried chicken, which is very good). We tried several of the wines, and all were only of fair quality.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Feel Good Food
    armoretto
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The patio was an excellent place to dine. It was fun to see a wedding take place. The menu selection was a nice variety of pairings. The Seabass & hangar steak with Romesxo sauce was outstanding. Strawberry shortcake with nuts & blackberry ice cream was a nice ending to a delightful meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Really delicious food and awesome ambiance/atmosphere. Had: Pork chop Seabass Brandade Cod Fish Prosciutto All were delicious. The service was also great and we were able to have a drink at the bar while waiting for our table. Will definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thanks for Perfect birthday
    Daniel
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I've been to Foreign Cinema a few times and always love it. This time I took my father who was out of town visiting for his 70th birthday party. He loved it. The food was amazing as always, we had some excellent wine, and the waiters did a great job of making his special day that much more special. Thanks Foreign Cinema!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food-Poor Service
    BurmeseTravelerVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    We don't know what we did, but for some reason our server decided she didn't like us. She was the most unfriendly and brusk server we have had in a long time. We saw her talk to other servers who looked at us and laughed. We are not weird. We have eyes, noses, and big smiles. My daughter was wowed when we entered but we were shocked by our server's surly disposition. We have never done this before. We left a 10% tip. She never checked on us once during the meal. On a positive note, the food was outstanding. The Tuscan bread soup and my pasta were delicious. The sea bass & duck fabulous. We went to Mitchell's ice cream where the service was far superior. We may not go back to Foreign Cinema. Poor service should not be tolerated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as good as I'd hoped
    danjeffer
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Heard a lot of hype about this place, but maybe I ordered the wrong things. Maybe a bit overpriced.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Barni
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Excellent food, moderately good service, with an indifferent waiter. The noise level was untenable. All parties had a sore throat at the end of the evening from having to almost yell for a normal conversation. About 50% of conversation lost to noise level. I would not describe the noise level as "Energetic" rather give the grade of an "F" in ability to have a reasonalble conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Wedding Dinner
    ArkansasJ
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    What a wonderful way to spend a small wedding reception dinner with friends! The food was absolutely cooked perfectly! Flavors married just right. The atmosphere was lovely, and the nice patio heaters to knock the chill out of the air is a nice touch. Outstanding service. The waiter even wrapped up the dinner menu with a rose for us!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • all hype
    fudExplorer
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I'm going to keep this review short. We came to see what the hype was about. I was left very disappointed. The food was ok, the portions were tiny, the wait for the food was terrible. We were seated immediately because we had a reservation. The waitress took our order, and we waited patiently. It took almost an hour to receive our food after ordering. The most absurd part was the price, ~$50 for the both of us. Our meals consisted of a total of 4 eggs, some potatoes and store bought banana chips. Totally not worth it. Bottom line: terrible service, expensive prices, and tiny portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Amazing Brunch
    foodieforlife
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Foreign Cinema amazes me every time. Delicious food, great ambiance its def a hidden neighborhood gem. The wait for our food was a little long this time (~45 mins), but they had an awesome 3 person band to help pass time. Great for romance, celebrations and just a great outdoor brunch in SF.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • You don't want to go there
    Orlando
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Extremely pricy food. The greens were not well washed. We complained to the waitress (she was gracious and professional, no complains about her), but were served again lettuces with some soil on the bottom of the stems. And then we had dessert, the most insipid and uninspiring mound of barely-edible stuff we remember. And I asked for English breakfast tea and was served some kind of flavored and slightly colored hot water. In short: don't go there unless you enjoy being ripped off and eating mediocre food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What's Not To Like?
    cwilsonVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Have you ever had a bad meal at Foreign Cinema? Of course you haven't. We had a scrumptious lunch and we didn't ever order bacon! Perhaps if we ate at FC every week we would grow tired of it---but no--I don't think we would.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Beautiful and delicious
    TheKP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Food and service were fantastic. Duck was prepared PERFECTLY and they graciously honored our gluten free requests. Will be back to try brunch ASAP!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Foreign Cinema Review
    adept2SF
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Foreign Cinema had a wonderful ambiance, something like romantic charm and urban cool mixed together. The service was just the right quality of attention to detail, paired with the ability to be completely imperceptible. Food and drink were truly excellent, no doubt these chefs are very accomplished. This would be a very pleasant dining destination for a variety of occasions, most notably a romantic date or an enchanting night out with a group of friends. Explore all Foreign Cinema has to offer, you will not regret it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our First Nite In San Francisco
    exopchef
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    What a pleasant way to start our visit. The prior reviewers were right. Had a most enjoyable meal in a courtyard like setting. Food presentation was spot on. Service was excellent and our waitress was warm and friendly. She was wonderful in helping us navigate the menu. A fine beginning to our San Francisco visit. Look forward to returning
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hot spot
    lceCream
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Lively atmosphere with great food. Outdoor area pleasant and movies shown at night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • highest recommendation
    kurtdismasVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    great food, great venue, great staff, terrific wine list. a consistent winner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You get what you pay for..
    Binaround
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The servers are healthy! Of course, you are paying for their health care. This is an inexpensive venue but the food is always good to excellent, innovative and pleasurable. The service is very attentive, polite and unobtrusive. One moment you're thinking you need more water and the next your glass if full, you're feeling the table is getting cluttered and the extra dishes are gone, you desire an additional item and the waiter appears. I don't know how they do that! It is my number one venue for Mission District dining, big party or romantic interlude, never disappoints. The bill may surprise you at the end of the meal. All the elements that made your experience delightful and satisfying leave a cumulative impact on your wallet.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always fantastic
    EatingSFVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Foreign Cinema is consistently one of my favorite places. Great cocktails, extensive wine list, excellent service and delectable cuisine. Great patio. Go!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fit for foodies
    CraigC
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Great dinner at foreign cinema. Flavours worked well together and perfectly balanced. Juiciest pork chop I've ever eaten. Desserts were perfect and the cocktails well mixed. Portion sizes perfect for us Europeans not too big but not small. It is quite lively noise wise but you get used to it. Beautiful space. Great understated service. Very reasonably prices for the quality of the food. Dined at Nopa the next night which paled in comparison to FC.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mission Gem - Still
    KiddendadVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    And great presentation. Brandade is a consistent table pleaser, though every dish showcased attention to detail and innovative pairing of fresh ingredients. But there is clearly a purpose to the matches beyond innovation
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • NinaVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The quality of the food was very poor. We don't understand why the Zagst rating was high. Terrible disappointment. Also thought the wines by the glass list was inferior. Very pricey and for what?
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Interesting
    SFORookie
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The restaurant, food, service, wine, and decor was all fabulous. Our waiter recommended a wine that the whole table loved. There wasn't a thing on the menu that we didn't love. Having a foreign movie in the background was kind of fun, but honestly we didn't pay attention we were so into the food and the company. The only off-putting part for me was the neighborhood. I've been told by people that live in San Fran that the neighborhood isn't bad and that I'm being silly. But as someone not from the city, I didn't feel comfortable there alone at night. I've traveled to a lot of big cities and found this neighborhood to be on my "don't need to visit again" list. Just a few blocks away things get much nicer, but the Mission has its own charm.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • All elements come together
    WellworthrecommendingVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This popular restaurant has been 'doing it' well for many years. The innovative, but not contrived, food and excellent service add up to a great dining experience. It's always crowded and definitely noisy, but when you're up for a really upbeat atmosphere with expert cooking and attentive service this restaurant is great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic