Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema

  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Foreign Cinema reviews from OpenTable diners
436 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (304)great for outdoor dining (262)special occasion (231)romantic (184)neighborhood gem (179)hot spot (177)good for groups (161)notable wine list (111)great for brunch (86)vibrant bar scene (46)late-night find (39)great for lunch (17)kid-friendly (13)scenic view (5)Show More
  • jameson
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    We were on vacation in SF and wanted to have a nice dinner. The atmosphere is great; outdoor seating with heaters and a movie playing on the wall. We started with the best oysters I have ever had. My husband had the pork chop which was awesome and I had the swordfish which was also good but pork chop was better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Accommodating for larger-than-expected group
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    We had a reservation for 9:30 on a Saturday night for 10 people. However, several of our friends brought a date/significant other, and our total party was 14. The staff helped us rearrange, even asking another party of two if they would be willing to move, and helped us get all 14 people seated for a beautiful dinner. This was a special occasion - welcoming my fiancé to the Bay area - and the service was excellent. As usual the food was delicious and there was a good option for everyone, including a vegan guest. Thanks Foreign Cinema! Our service Saturday explains why you are my go-to choice again and again for parties!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mini
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Good food and ambience but too noisy and service too slow!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food,
    Paradise
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    not great for romance the noise is incredibly high, yelling to your dinner guests pleasant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Has always been one of my favorite places to dine!
    josephine
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    A neighborhood gem. I used to live in SF and would come here on special occasions. Now that I live in NYC, I come back to visit and never forget to make a reservation at Foreign Cinema. The carpaccio is spot on, and cocktails are amazing. The dining area in the patio is perfect for a romantic evening, and you can listen to the movie that's playing if you use the speaker provided. The entire dining experience is perfect, and food comes out at the correct times. The service is excellent and I always recommend this spot to my friends, and anyone visiting SF.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If you are under 35, expect bad service
    FoodieNsf
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    The food was great, the atmosphere was beautiful, but we had horrible service. Too often younger patrons receive horrible service because people assume you can't afford to spend a lot of money on food or tip well. We had a table of four next to us, an older crowd, and the server was attentive and treated them well. He only visited our table a few times and left us waiting more often then not. I was disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place for special occasion however
    FrancisI
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    The food was great. The portion was a bit small. But I am fine with it. I had a seafood dish -Khari Machi, aromatic Persian stew of scallops, true cod, clams, fresh curry leaf, tomato, basmati, spinach. The food came out slow. The waiter gave us warm olive for the time being. It was a good gesture. I called in earlier for my son 24 year old birthday. But the hostess never communicated the message to our waiter. It was a bit disappointed. Valet parking attendent was rude. Maybe it was a long day for him. Overall the experience was good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Celebration
    Kbee
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Ambiance was fantastic, service was great. I was a bit disappointed in the oysters, but the rest of the meal made up for it. Our host made sure the bubbles kept coming and even gave us extra macaroons from our desert. Would definitely come back. Its a great place for just about any type of gathering.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty but pricey food
    tian
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    The food is a bit expensive and in small portions, but they are all really really tasty! The food was served either extremely fast or extremely slow, with mysterious gap of unwaited minutes between entree and desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Date Night Spot
    Thedarkcamero
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    The food was delicious, especially the pork chop. We got to see a few iconic scenes from Rebel Without A Cause while drinking some good wine and eating good food. One of the glasses of Chardonnay was really bad, but the more expensive one was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun spot but wasn't firing on all cylinders
    tophersteele
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Service went down hill when the waiter realized we were only having one drink and no wine. The menu and portions feel overly managed. All in all, though, it is a fun and interesting spot. Delicious cocktails.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • expected better
    shepard2shepard
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    table of 4- adult dinner birthday dinner- nothing other than birthday candle was special....nice but not memorable...food was interesting & delicious ...loved the kale salad. my date loved his fried chicken...service was disappointing. Not bad, just basic...we asked and she brought...no personality adding to the evening. I like the waiter to advise, encourage, have fun with us...Our table location wasn't where we could see the cinema, which was one of the reasons I thought this was a unique place to be.... they knew it was a celebration however it didn't appear that it meant much...other than candle on dessert. Probably will choose another place in the city since there are so many to choose from.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Buenisimo
    0104
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Great ambiance, amazing food, well thought menu, beautiful lighting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome Cinema!
    Dineomite
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Our waitress, a woman in fantastic shape, was great and made me eager to return and hopefully have her as a server again.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The symbol of gentrification
    sfeata
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food is very okay for its price and the service is slow.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very Good All Around
    eatinnobhill
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I was here with a group of 7 (6 adults and a 3 year old child). The reservation and seating were prompt. Service was polite and very good. Our waitress was knowledgeable and accommodating. Would have given service an outstanding rating too except: we didn't get a children's menu and crayons until we asked if they had a children's menu, two of the four steak dishes were ordered medium but came out medium rare. Overall not a big deal. We enjoyed our experience, the food, and the outdoor patio with the foreign film. Thanks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • better than okay but not great
    groupoutingVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    early dinner for 5 on a saturday. waiter distracted, but delivered in the end. risotto so-so; chicken very good, appetizers okay to good. ambiance of the place is amazing, and feels fun. that part is great. desserts terrific, as were cocktails and wine choices. so a mixed response, but still fun. at this price point, wish i could say 'great'
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing Dining Experience
    CAS90VIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I have been going to Foreign Cinema for several years and each time i go, I am rewarded with the same individualized and caring attention. We had a round of cocktails which were divine and a great way to start the evening. The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable about the menu and the wine. I have never felt rushed...and we were at the table for 3 hours on a Friday evening. Even the valet parking works well. I would recommend Foreign Cinema to anyone looking for a fabulous meal with a friendly neighborly feeling.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The dinner was a 'work' group dinner with a guest speaker. The group had a great time and raved about the expertly prepared and delicious food!
    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
  • Great food and atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Food was just great and the ambiance is unbeatable. Service was a bit hit and miss. We had a reservation and were seated right away, but our server seemed distracted, didn't make any good recommendations when we asked and was just overall inattentive. It took a long time for the food to come out and this being brunch, we were starving! Everything we tried though was delicious and well worth the wait!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Everyone was so great and helped make my moms birthday a big success!!! Thank you!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, strange service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We sat at our table for nearly 25 minutes before our server came to our table and when she did, she approached our table and didn't say a word. It was very strange. After that delay however, the food arrived promptly and it was delicious.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Junctionman
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    It was just OK.i did not care for the food. I had visitors from out of town and I was embarrassed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome Romantic Dinner
    foodgiirl
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Get the Oysters. Period. Lamb Ribblets are killer. Get the Oysters. Period. Lamb Ribblets are killer.
    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
  • Lovely dinner - appetisers & mains
    DiCoz
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We really enjoyed our dining experience at foreign cinema. It is unique, the menu is good and wine list extensive. All was fantastic except desserts which were fine but not outstanding. Great service too. Not cheap but worth for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Burger in SF
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Only on Saturdays Foreign Cinema serves a hamburger for brunch. It is wonderful. The beef is juicy and flavorful, but what makes it even better is the addition of Foreign Cinema's brown sugar bacon. Pair it with an Anchor Steam Lager and you have the perfect Saturday brunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent
    SinglereedVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Excellent interesting food in a unique urban chic environment. Excellent bourbon/scotch whisky list at reasonable prices. Comfortable, non-stuffy environment, marred only by very high noise level.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Beautiful, industrial, restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    We were a party of 3, asked for indoors because it can be cool on cold nights in SF. Food was wonderful. They used a blank white wall to show a black and white foreign film (hence the name). Noise was not so loud that we had to yell to hear each other. I would definitely go again.
    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 LevelEnergetic
  • Glad we went
    WineLover
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    In SF, from out of town, we had one night open for dinner and picked this one from a list provided by my San Fran resident niece. What a fun place to dine. Food, service and atmosphere were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Sunday Brunch
    meganrehmVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We came here for the first time on Sunday and really enjoyed it. It gets rave reviews all the time so I was hesitant that it wouldn't live up to expectations. Service could've been better - she was friendly, but absent most of the time. I had the omelette, husband had the pork with fried egg, friends had french toast, and duck confit and everyone was happy with their meal and left satisfied. The ambiance was great and loved the patio feel and we had no wait, which was a nice change compared to most SF brunch spots. Will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • seethru
    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...
    Pacifictraveler
    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.
  • brunch is great
    panhandlerVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    have had brunch a couple times for birthdays and the like terrific food and really great cocktails. service is excellent but slow, it's just somehow a tough meal for them to manage the flow on but the space is warm, light, pretty, great menu
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 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!
    SuburbanguyintocityVIP
    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