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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Foreign Cinema reviews from OpenTable diners
464 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (310)great for outdoor dining (297)special occasion (252)romantic (213)hot spot (182)neighborhood gem (174)good for groups (168)notable wine list (118)great for brunch (103)vibrant bar scene (57)late-night find (43)great for lunch (25)kid-friendly (18)scenic view (8)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Place draws a hip crowd, and the ambience is good. But thumbs down for food. Brunch took almost an hour to arrive, it was not even rush hour. when it did it was small and bland (truffle omelete - looked like one maybe one and a half eggs cooked in a bit of truffle infused oil --> $17). Had to eat something immediately after to stop being hungry. My boyfriends dish was better, so maybe I picked badly. But although we live round the corner, probs wont be going again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lacking a noteworthy bite...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Great cocktails but food fell subpar. Would have loved to dine outside, especially considering it was our first time at the restaurant, but alas we were stuck between a rock and a hard place (literally sat up between a fireplace and arguing couple). Good service helped bring this up to a three star.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved the food
    Scholzois
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Great atmosphere. Got seated inside but could still see the movie playing in the background (recommend the outdoor seating). We were seated promptly but the waiter did not come by for about 20 min. He did not give us his name, just handed us the menus and left. We were quite surprised about this as all the other waiters around seemed very happy and interactive with the guests at the tables they were serving. We had the lavender goat cheese, beef carpaccio, lamb, and mahi mahi. They were all very good. We would return again but would request changing tables if we had the same server.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great place in the mission
    vegtravelerVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Wonderful food at this Mission location.. We sat inside -- first time I have not sat outside. The place is gorgeous and somewhat unexpected as you walk in the door. Food was wonderful. Lots of unique items and a few veg friendly options.
    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
  • Brunch
    flajemming
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We went there for brunch and had really excellent food and stellar cocktails! Cocktails were mostly gin-based which is our style and the two bartenders did a great job of cranking out cocktails for the whole restaurant. The atmosphere at Foreign Cinema goes without saying, now I want to find out what it's like at night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was disappointed!
    Boston
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    It was a very special occasion for me to celebrate my friend's birthday. I wanted it to be a special memorable dinner for us. There were not much of a choice for dinner and the quality of the food was disappointed. I do not understand why this place was so popular. She later told me the day was perfect except dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it!
    DdggVIP
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We had the best dinner here for my birthday the other night. The cocktails were delicious, the salads were small but perfectly composed and still shareable. I had the pork chop and my husband had the ahi- we loved both. For dessert we had the ginger cake with pistachio sorbet. Phenomenal. Not overly sweet, nicely spiced and packed with ginger kick. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Romantic ambiance & upscale dining!
    BraeRae
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We walked into a warm and romantic setting. Partially outdoors, there were heat lamps above, and the space was adorned with stringed lights above our heads, while a foreign film played on a massive screen on the back wall. The "Ceasar salad" was delicious with its corn chip like croutons. My husband ordered the steak with red wine reduction and it was cooked perfectly, medium rare, and full of flavor. My swordfish was divine with a delicious sweet and nutty sauce and mini potatoes. We drank wines pared by our sommelier server, who knew the food and wine list well. We are on our honeymoon and shared the Pino Noir dessert as a gift from our server. Overall, we enjoyed excellent service and food at the hip and romantic Foreign Cinema.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't miss it!
    Suburbanguyintocity
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Visiting from Boston. Thought this restaurant was awesome. Great menu, great wine list!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Date Night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Came here for a date night on vacation and it was wonderful!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seating
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The only complaint is that we had to sit inside away from the cinema and it was the birthday girls first time to dine at your restaurant. The outdoor cinema was part of the experience we were looking for.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unfortunate Bad server, great spot
    Disappointed
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Food was great! We had a great time despite our server. There were 7 of us and we asked upon arrival for separate checks. Our server said it would 'take a long time to do that' but we said that was fine since he knew ahead of time. We were still brought one check and our server put up a fight about splitting it up. We asked several questions about the oysters and he had zero knowledge or helpful comments. He avoided our table for the entire meal and we were never asked for second drinks. We saw him giving perfectly acceptable service to other tables. So, it was just obvious he did not want our table. We even saw him pointing as he talked about us. Unfortunate because I know Foreign Cinema is a lot better than the service we received.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently 5 Stars!
    DebbEVIP
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Half way thru the meal…"Why don't we eat here more often"! Just can't beat it! Thank you Team Foreign Cinema for a great night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • don't bother
    fcmfcmVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Expensive. Beautifully presented food, but not much of it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of our favorites
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We love brunch at Foreign Cinema. Its extremely reasonable and the menu is AMAZING. We have been several times and always try to book there when we stay up in the city for the weekend. The only negative is the sound level in the restaurant. It would be great if they could figure that out without ruining the beautiful architecture of the building.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Give it a try
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Mixed review is all we can offer. The front desk (the girls in this case) apparently decide where you will sit. Well, that did not 'sit' well, being seated by the walkway/kitchen...after having made a reservation 5 weeks in advance. Even a waiter said "you're waiting to be moved, right?" ...right. And we were. After that, everything went smoothly. Our waitress was very friendly and helpful with menu, delivery and timing of coffee...even offering to remove the delivered desert while we enjoyed the coffee. The food was pretty good as well. So, it's OK.. give the place a whirl...the neighborhood is rough, but there is a hopping bar nextdoor, so grab a cab on your way out from one of their patrons arriving for some late night music.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Step it up, FC!
    brunchlover
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    This has always been my favorite brunch spot in the city! However, the last few times I have been there to eat have been disappointing. I finally went to dinner there and was very disappointed by the two bottles of wine we ordered and the dinner entry was kind of bland. I just went again for brunch last weekend and was very surprised that they messed up my brunch order 3 times, and then did not even discount the bill. After asking the server about it, he revised the bill (after speaking with his manager), but frankly I was quite surprised that I even had to ask. Again, I want to LOVE this place... I will try one more time.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great night!
    shorn
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Had a super delicious meal here with a friend and FC never disappoints. I celebrated my 40th here with a large group and got just as amazing service as when it was two of us. Perfect food, unrushed service, and though the tables are close together it doesn't feel crowded. Swordfish was amazing and truly a stand out dish. Cocktails are imaginative and flavorful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun and Fantastic
    Lauri
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We were in San Francisco visiting our son and met several of his friends for dinner. The food was fantastic! Such a fun and energetic environment. I would definately recommend this to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place but...
    Carlos
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    The great thing about the place is that you have dinner watching the movies but the table that I got through Open Table was not where the screen is so I couldn´t watch the movie.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    I had a great time!! Me and my boyfriend were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and thy even brought us a candle in our dessert!!! We will be back for sure
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Winner
    SarasotaLadyVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Last week I hosted three friends to dinner at Foreign Cinema and the vibe was great. We had a good table and the good service. Everyone loved the food and having the movie playing was a nice touch for ambience but don't go if that's why you are going as you cannot hear. I will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Previous experience much better
    ChowhoundVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Went here about a month ago and it was a great experience. This time not so much. Both dishes significantly undercooked and the service was extremely slow. Not a big fan of the vinegar/onion sauce with the raw shellfish either but that's more of a personal preference.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    Jonas
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    overall great experience - food, service and environment.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful spot
    Jewels
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Our first time at Foreign Cinema and we will definitely go back. The wine list, our waitress, the food, our whole experience was wonderful. We eat out in SF a lot and this is by far one of the cities best places to eat. Great evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as it was
    JBlack
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I went to Foreign Cinema for brunch about 18 months ago and was blown away by it. I still remember what I ordered and how great it was. It took a while for me to get back there but when I did this passed weekend I was a bit disappointed. I scanned the menu for a long while and nothing off it jumped out at me - the options were quite 'breakfasty' whereas last time i remember the options being quite interesting and different. I don't think i'd bother going back - well I'd definitely check the menu out online first before going. The service was amazing though, our waitress was superb!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Real and excellent
    Nativesf
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    What a gift! Real food creatively prepared! Friendly and helpful staff in an aesthetically pleasing brick environment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SFOvsitor
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Very cool vibe. Hidden away, but explodes with energy when you get to the dining area. Wait person was a real pro and really understood how the food was prepared. Little neck Clams were some of the best I've had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Great food across the board - selection, flavors, presentations all very appetizing and w/ skilled culinary touch. Fun cocktail list. Wine list very good for the menu. Outdoor courtyard ambience, with the B/W foreign film, very rustic, artistic and European-ish. Table service was outstanding. First class place with a great neighborhood appeal ... without the downtown restaurant snobbishness.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience, service dippy
    JB10VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Always love coming to Foreign Cinema for Sunday brunch. Place busy but it took a long while to get some water. Server did not know what ingredients were in their Regents Park cocktail although that was the one they were recommending on their menu. Brought deserts without any utensils. Food portions did not seem as large as on previous visits. That said still a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Stopped in for desert
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Visited Foreign Cinema after and evening at Urban Putt (just 2 blocks away). Got the Cheesecake with blueberries, very yummie.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Long wait, terrible service
    earnshaw416
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Arrived at 9:15 for a 9:30 reso. Sweated it out in the bar until seated at 10:45. First course arrived at 11:30. I could live with that if everything else was good. But the service was terrible. The check-in guy should not be working with people. The waiter tried harder, but made odd recos such as ordering the steak medium. When I noticed the kitchen forgot 30% of my mixed grill, the waiter offered me a free dessert. I ordered a chocolate dessert for us to share as we finished our wine. The waiter brought my dessert (charged to bill) along with a second "free dessert" which no one wanted - an acidic pineapple granita that did not go with our wine. Didn't get out till 12:30+. Only plusses- wine list ok and nice space.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sit in the "patio"
    Almost5stara
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I had made a note that we were celebrating my daughters 21st birthday and that I would like a special table. It was our first time and I would have liked to have been in the room with the strings and the foreign films playing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lived up to hype
    Swhyte
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Had a great oyster selection and great small plates. Has a great Mission location next to a bar if you want to pre-game
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious.
    lefrancesca
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Food was incredible (dinner), outdoor seating is awesome. Definitely going back for brunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2 $$ or 3 $$$?
    JaneVIP
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    While everything was delicious and the experience was excellent. Prices are high and not what I thought they should be for a restaurant that Open Table has rated as $$. I felt I was deceived.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yum
    MinSF01VIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    finally made it there after a decade! Well worth the wait.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic All Around
    Caroline925
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Great food, great service, great ambiance. I would definitely return. Our appetizers of Early Girl tomato soup and carpaccio were excellent, and the pork chop and bavette steak were delicious main courses. Justin provided excellent service and paired wine perfectly for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    hiredgoon
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Great food great service great ambiance. Been here twice and continually impressed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hot date night
    ge8moodVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Loved this place. Thoughtful menu and bar items. Unique atmosphere outside with film showing in background. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet