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Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.foreigncinema.com
  • Phone: (415) 648-7600
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "From service, to food, to the wine list, Foreign Cinema delivered. Great complimentary flavors in the dishes, a knowledgeable but unpretentious server, and a cozy atmosphere is about all you can ask for from any dining experience."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Food was good with portions and price points about what you would expect for this type of place. The bus help was a bit rushed and the waited rather slow. We waited an exceptionally long time for our entree to come out - and I really mean long time something like an hour after we ordered it. The food was great though with small portions. I would recommend this place overall if nothing else for the ambience especially when seated outside."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The outdoor undercover seating is so charming, there are little orange outdoor lights that give off a warm glow around a garden-like backyard and the noise level is not too high and not too quiet. It is the perfect place to sit for hours and enjoy good food and good company!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "It takes a lot of planetary alignment to have an opportunity to enjoy fine food like this. For us, this experience was well beyond our greatest expectation. Everything was flawless, except the hair in our appetizer. Our server was gracious an returned with another, free of charge. He then insisted on buying us desert. From apps to main to desert the flavor and presentation was simply outstanding. We are not used to dining in rooms where everyone loves to hear themselves talk so much, however the decor was modern and comfortable. Overall the experience was everything we had hoped for and then some."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Unbelievably fantastic meal. The food was thoughtful and inventive without being glib or gimmicky. Attention to detail shows."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I can't express how much I enjoy going to Foreign Cinema. It's one of my favorite places and the food never disappoints. Like no joke....NEVER! The service is great. They have a wonderful, courteous, and one of kind wait staff. Always willing to share their recommendations on the food and will make your night wonderful."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We visited Foreign Cinema to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. While the ambiance was fantastic, and all of our dishes were very good, the meal was a disappointment because Foreign Cinema did not do anything I asked to make the meal special for his birthday. I repeatedly notified them it was his birthday (when I made the reservation, when I confirmed, and when we arrived), and asked for a special table and a desert with candles. Yet, we were seated in a cramped table with no privacy, and NOBODY acknowledged that it was his birthday. No candles, no nothing. I was especially irritated given that I had not purchased a separate cake or candles. So while the food and ambiance are lovely, I would not recommend for a special celebration."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Live this place but the food has become too fussy. Goat cheese with pickles, for example. Food used to be clean and reliable. Now it's hard to understand what the chef was thinking... Or is even thinking."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "The ambiance is very beautiful , the server was very friendly and attentive, food is good and creative but not extraordinary and the portions are a tiny bit small . Despite that, would come back any time, but not when I'm really hungry."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Great place if you want your girlfriend to really like you and take you seriously."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "We had a great dinner at Foreign Cinema. For appetizers we tried the roasted tomato soup and the Hawaiian tuna poke and both were excellent. For entrees we both tried the steak with grilled onions and corn on the cob. Loved the whole meal. Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Food was outstanding. Nice ambiance and good service."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Juan our server as well as the serving staff made our meal a very memorable one. The food was amazing (pork chops, Duck breast, Avocado toast and sardines, and calamari). Foreign Cinema also made sure to help us celebrate our occasion by sending us a complimentary glass of muscato and nectarine granita too. Possibly one of the best meals I've had in San Francisco."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We had a Sunday dinner of small plates. Oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon, calamari, poke, and finished with Creme Brûlée. The wine was great, the waiter and the atmosphere were perfect."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We got off the underground train with our toddler in a hiking backpack and wondered what neighbourhood we had landed in. It was a little unnerving but we walked our six blocks and there it was. We opened the door and you find yourself in a oasis. The front staff we very nice checked our backpack for us. They had a highchair for out son but didn't give us a kids menu. None of the items seemed very kids friendly but we brought snacks. They had a nice outdoor space and the food was delicious. Staff we very nice and attentive. We would recommend this place to others. :)"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We love Foreign Cinema and thought we would give brunch a go this past Saturday. We loved it. As always the food is amazing!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Foreign Cinema never disappoints (other than trying to get a reservation!). Everything was executed flawlessly. OK, the dessert wasn't as good as the rest of the meal, but still."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Almost had trouble finding it through all the construction on Mission, but as we walked through the old time theater doors was blown away by the beautiful ambience of the courtyard. Our waiter was attentive (even a little cocky, to his benefit), waters always filled, excellent food and wine recommendations. Unfortunately we had to leave before the movie started, but would love to return with a group on a special occasion!"
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "very poor service experience from start to finish. everyone had an attitude."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "I've been trying to go to foreign cinema for ages, but there's never been a reservation available ... until I went on a date on a Monday night and they had some free just a few days in advance. This place is amazing. The ambiance was incredible, I mean there's a movie playing while you eat, that's pretty awesome in and of itself. The food was nothing short of spectacular and the service was dedicated to making our night fantastic. It made the whole evening special and this is going to be the place we come to on our (future) anniversaries. I recommend it for anyone looking for a unique and exciting dining experience! You HAVE to sit on the patio to see the movie, so make sure you do!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Our waiter Kieran was amazing and quick as well as subtle. The food was some of the best I've ever had. This was our (my boyfriend and I's) first time in San Francisco and we were looking for a romantic and special place to eat for one of our last meals in town. I'm so happy I chose this. The portions seem small but are quite filling and honestly appreciated because you are able to enjoy something else off the menu- a dessert or an appetizer perhaps."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "This is a great place, the food is great and the service, we planed to make reservations for or trip to sa francisco and this time we manage to get a table."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "First time here last Saturday, awesome service, excellent food! Our server Ginger was very attentive and well versed with the menu. Had mozzarella and sardines for the appetizers. They were both great but my favorite is the mozzarella. Lots of flavors, very savory for an appetizer! For entrees, I tried their famous poppy seed fried chicken, it was the bomb! Yummy! Well cooked, moist, NO blood! I hate fried chicken that still has blood in it! Interestingly, we were seated by the bigger room with high ceilings that has a big wall with projected movies. I don't know if this was because I ticked the box on the reservation that says it's my first time here. Otherwise, didn't mind a private dinner date! I will definitely come back here soon!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Enjoyed our dinner, great service and neat outdoor seating. Go after dark and request to sit outside on their patio, courtyard. After dark they play a movie on the courtyard wall. We missed this as our reso was too early. Great seafood and wine flights. I would have given half stars if it allowed me to do so here, so 4.5 food, 4.5 service, 5 ambiance, total 4.5."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Its our SF visit must eat place!!!!! The food, ambiance, & service are all top notch, the menu changes daily and is always a pleasant surprise. The best description would be a FIVE STAR relaxed restaurant without the five star pricing or black tie hassle."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Food and service were terrific. My sister and I went early before going to see the musical Showboat. We had two appetizers, main course, then a salad, and then two cappuccinos. The waitress was fun and helpful. Her attitude made the meal even better. Dinning out is theater so the whole package is important, food, service, atmosphere. I had eaten here before but it has been at least two years and was glad I went back and will be going again soon."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • " Wonderful spot for brunch. Lovely setting, terrific selections, great service. Don't miss the sides of bacon and sausage. To die for."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "I enjoyed pretty much every aspect of dinner here. I had been for brunch many times but it was my first dinner experience. We sat in the courtyard area...loved the ambiance, projected film, the food and the energy of the space. The oysters were the best I have had, and there was a great wine selection. The only challenge was towards the end of the meal, when we hadn't finished our wine or food yet, we had 5 (different) people ask us if we were done, all within 8 minutes of each other. There were open tables nearby, so I didn't understand the need to rush us, but regardless the rest of the meal experience was enjoyable and I would certainly return for dinner again."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I had a wonderful date-night dinner at Foreign Cinema. We requested to sit outside and enjoyed the ambiance (they have numerous heat lamps which helps with SF's typically cold evenings). The food was great, service was nice, attentive, but not intrusive, and overall it was just a great experience!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Run don't walk to Foreign Cinema while corn is in season. The salmon with corn and chanterelles was amazing. Summer at its best. For appetizers we tried the oysters (super fresh) and the burrata with sliced summer squash and both were great. In addition to the salmon, we tried the pork chop which was also very good. Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food was awesome, the atmosphere was great. Too bad we could only get a reservation earlier in the evening so they hadn't started playing the movie yet (they start at dusk). But, the patio was so pleasant, the service excellent, and it was my favorite meal of the week in San Francisco."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Had a table of six for a light dinner, too many other places to also try in the area...Service was not very friendly, we were in good spirits and asked questions but our waiter was pretty uninterested. Beef carpaccio was delicious but the serving size was extremely thin/small for the price. Felt the same about everything we ordered. Cocktails were good. Ambiance was top notch, especially for the neighborhood. A secret spot for sure."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "FRIED CHICKEN WAS DA BOMB YO!! FRIED CHICKEN WAS DA BOMB YO!!FRIED CHICKEN WAS DA BOMB YO!!FRIED CHICKEN WAS DA BOMB YO!!FRIED CHICKEN WAS DA BOMB YO!!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Our food was fantastic. The wait staff was attentive. The ambiance was great. No complaints from me!!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We had a lovely meal here as part of our honeymoon. Waitress was very friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. Food was delicious."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Unfortunately we were there before the movie was playing but we still had a great dinner on the patio. You can't tell by the outside but it is very beautiful inside."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Good food, marred by an uncomfortable experience with the waiter. My dining partner and I split the bill, and when it came to be signed, at the bottom were printed suggested tip amounts. I used that for reference and signed - only right when the waiter came back did I realize that the suggested amounts were on the *full* bill, not just my half - meaning I was about to tip 40%! So I scratched out the first amount, and wrote in a more reasonable 20%. The waiter took it, read it, then came back and started apologizing that I "didn't have a good experience." He didn't even look at the fact that I'd tipped a healthy 20%, and it made me look cheap in front of my dining partner, even though I hadn't been."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Because we often have to fight with amazing traffic to get into the city on Saturday evenings for dinner, we do not get to Foreign Cinema as much as we would like. The "trip" in (from Marin) was well worth it. We had a wonderful dinner in a lovely, bustling, restaurant. Service was excellent. We plan to fight traffic again soon."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "There is nothing quite like dining under the lights in the courtyard at Foreign Cinema. Whether there's a flick showing or not, the ambiance is delightful. Service on both visits was spunky but slow. Yes, we need a few minutes to review the menu, but not 45. However, the candid and even sarcastic recommendations on what to order and why was amusing, helpful and welcome. Food was lovely. Particularly enjoyed the sesame honey fried chicken (mouth watering), for which they are known."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I am going to say that Foreign Cinema is now at the top of my list for when I am taking out friends and family (especially out of town guests). The outdoor patio is urban chic and the service was very attentive. The fried chicken dish was one of my favorite meals I've had in the city and exceeds that of Wayfare Tavern in my opinion! The prices are a bit high but it is worth it - and the food exceeded my expectations. Oysters were fresh and delicious, main courses combined unlikely flavors and were memorable, and the desserts were simply divine! I will be back and I stand by my endorsement of this great dining experience! Encore!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014