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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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Foreign Cinema reviews from OpenTable diners
466 reviews since June 3, 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 (309)great for outdoor dining (303)special occasion (256)romantic (223)hot spot (181)neighborhood gem (178)good for groups (170)notable wine list (130)great for brunch (110)vibrant bar scene (66)late-night find (52)great for lunch (28)kid-friendly (23)scenic view (10)Show More
  • 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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • ...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    The wine was excellent! BUT : Its a shame we couldnt hear the movie (its just a deco!) And the food was good but not enough for the price! I was still hungry when I left!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 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
    DannyGVIP
    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