Foreign Cinema

4.6
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6886 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Foreign Cinema is a one of a kind, nationally acclaimed restaurant combining independent films with California-Mediterranean cooking. Enjoy an airy yet chic setting, complete with indoor dining room with a fireplace, outdoor courtyard, mezzanine, gallery curated by Modernism & full bar in the main dining room. There is also a great cocktail bar, Laszlo, as you enter from Mission Street.
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What 6886 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service3ambience5

The calamari was phenomenal

CG
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best brunch in the city HANDS DOWN!! Most romantic spot in the city for a dinner date. This place never disappoints. Make your reservation now!

JL
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful birthday brunch this past Sunday at Foreign Cinema! Thank you for the delicious food, wonderful cocktails and perfect service. It's always a pleasure to return to Foreign Cinema! Hats off to Gayle & John once again.

-Jay

KS
San Diego
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food2service5ambience5

The service was great and the ambiance was fun. Our entrees took forever and came out cold. It was very pricey for the food they serve.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal food and ambiance!

KS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service is always excellent, kind, informative, prompt and everything you would hope for in a fancy meal. I've always loved how you can sit for a series of dishes so expertly prepared, and be helped by waitstaff who are so kind and helpful. The food was flavorful and expertly designed (in its flavor). I live in Joshua Tree and coming back to town for this brunch was such a special outing. Thank you!

I would say that having a line for those with reservations that is separate from waitlist folks would have been helpful with our schedule for that first morning seating, but it was such a SMALL inconvenience compared to the incredible meal, and in no way represents the takeaway from our wonderful brunch.

Thanks Foreign Cinema!

SM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Went there for Valentine's Day! Totally disappointing for the $360+ we paid for food + 2 cocktails. Totally not worth it! The panna cotta was probably the worst I've had in my life. So citrusy and awful! Nothing was worth coming back for or even mentioning. The only savior was the ambience.

JL
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience2

Went for valentine’s day. Food was awful and over price. Prosciutto was not cured enough. Steaks were raw and cold. Pana Cotta was clumpy and disgusting. Absolutely not worth $140 per person. Will not be coming back.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Valentine’s Day meal.

PC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food3service5ambience3

Service was great- definitely not the best food we've had in the city

R
Seattle
32 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had a good time with friends. There were a lot of interesting menu items. This was my first time here. The positives were the space itself, the interesting menu and the super tasty entree I had, the chicken. Some misses were the service , which felt a bit rushed even though there were open tables all around. Also , this might sound pretentious but it’s nice when the waiter reminds us what was in the dish. I could’ve used a little refresher of what we ordered and the main ingredients. But overall we really enjoyed it.

BC
Seattle
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food3service5ambience5

It had really cool decor and great ambiance but unfortunately the food was forgettable and on the pricey side. Service was great but the food took quite a while and the fish and chips were cold when they arrived

SM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience5

After having an extensive conversation with our server about having Celiac, I was given a plate of food with little pasta balls in it. I asked if they were pasta balls and was told they weren't and I asked them to check because they really looked like little pasta balls....they were in fact pasta balls. Unprompted, the manager came over to apologize and offered to comp the app that was glutened. Kind of a crappy way to start my birthday but oh well. The food overall was good but the portions are teeny tiny. The ambiance is where it's at though. Such a pretty space.

OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Another great visit. Thanks for making my sister’s birthday celebration extra special with the extra TLC. Austin Powers was definitely a good choice! More Mike Myers in the future please!

b
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything we ate was fabulous. Service was terrific.
This is the best restaurant in San Francisco.

RI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a cool place with an amazing menu - food and drinks - and terrific service!

s
London
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Very few vegetarian restaurants and the wines are nearly all natural (which isn’t to everyone’s taste).

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I had the most wonderful experience dining at Foreign Cinema. It’s a restaurant that’s been around for a long time - an institution.

It was surprisingly our first time dining there and possibly the last supper/date as a couple (I’m 38 weeks pregnant and our first can arrive any day now)! So, we’re extremely happy that this meal was one to remember and share the dining experience with our friends/family.

Everything we ordered was absolutely delicious. But what made the evening memorable was our server - she was/is the best! We will be back soon with a plus one! Foreign Cinema is now on our top 5 and a staple to our rotation of restaurants. Thank you!

MM
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was amazing! I wish the mixed drinks menu had more variety, but over all it was delicious. They were quick, kind, and clean. I do wish the volume of the movie would’ve been a little louder, or had subtitles. It was very hard to hear.

JV
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall3food2service1ambience3

Very Very bad service... to bad and food its just ok...

BG
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Nice bright space, excellent food. The citrusy, smoky pulled pork in the breakfast tostada was delicious.

OT
Austin
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service. Provided perfect details during our anniversary meal. Food was exceptional and came out perfectly timed. Will be definitely going back.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It was a great experience

LP
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food never disappoints, the wine list is extraordinary, and the staff is super professional. So happy to have this gem in my neighborhood!

BS
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the Best chicken dishes ever! Tuna excellent

b
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Lovely restaurant experience. Extraordinary service, as always.

HC
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Leo was really considerate and took great care of the table.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was fantastic and Leo was an excellent server. Can’t wait to come back.

HC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! From the moment we check in to the moment we left
Can’t wait to go back again !

KC
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience4

Hello, I'm glad you reached out. We were excited to celebrate my wife's birthday. Unfortunately we felt rushed from the very start. The most disappointing part was not getting our wine after our hors deurves had been served....the wine came much later. Our waiter seemed to be doing too much or something because we did not feel taken care of. I hate to send this but it was incredibly disappointing. The staff was taking away dishes when we were not done....it was weird. It was a Monday night. It didn't make sense and it colored our experience. The food was excellent. The wait staff rushed us. That's all.
Thank you,
Katie Cronin

JS
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Leo, our server! The food was amazing!
So good, we had so much fun, we were very late, but your staff was ready going about it!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it, great service and even better food

CB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Had a great time at Foreign Cinema. The food was great, the ambiance is casual cool, and the noise level was moderate. Great oysters, salads, and Kobe steak!

JM
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great food, wine and ambiance Foreign Cinema is terrific. Had a terrific time with great service. Food was outstanding and wine list excellent. We also brought a 1972 Ridge to open. Wine steward accommodated and our request not to decant the wine as it was on old bottle. The menu was varied and everyone was impressed by the preparation and quality of the food.

B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Even though we were past the 15 minute window by a few minutes, they found a space for us and seated us promptly. We were seated by 6:05pm and managed to do mains + dessert and be out in time by 7:25pm for an 8pm show. Glad that we could see the beautiful space and only wish we had longer time to stay at the restaurant. The food was delicious and service was great.

C
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing, the two of us literally ordered 3 main courses. The duck breast and kobe steak was awesome

OT
San Francisco
128 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The last time we were here was for our good friend’s wedding, and I regret not coming back sooner.The food is showcased perfectly, incredible presentation and outstanding flavor. The server was wonderful and very attentive, and the sommelier was super helpful in picking out a variety of wines for us (insider tip: if you like Pinot, the Peay Scallop Shelf is a must!). We loved the pork chop main dish and the fried chicken, which was uniquely spiced. We’ll definitely be back again before the next wedding! 😉

E
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience1

I was really disappointed in my visit to Foreign Cinema... especially given that it's rated as "extraordinary" on OpenTable. We arrived a bit late for our reservation, and as a result were seated upstairs where there is little ambiance. I was bummed about that but thought that at least the food would still be great -- no problem and our own fault for being late. But unfortunately the FOOD WAS NOT GREAT. I couldn't really believe it. We ordered the Thai Mussels & Clams for I think $17 and there were exactly 3 mussels and 3 clams... ridiculous! The entrees were ok but not great. I ordered the pasta and it was actually awful -- too salty, and the ingredients were indistinguishable from one another. Why put a ton of salty breadcrumbs on a salty green pasta "sauce"... or on top of pasta at all? It was just weird. The menu didn't feel cohesive at all either so you're kind of just trying to piece a meal together and hoping it'll all be good together (it wasn't). Service was ok, but our first appetizer came out before our drinks got to us, which IMHO is not cool. This is San Francisco, and Foreign Cinema is supposed to be an institution... DO BETTER! Super bummed, and felt like I wasted a meal on a completely subpar experience while I had guests visiting from out of town. BOO!

SK
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve been wanting to go to Foreign Cinema for years, and finally snagged a reservation on a Thursday night. It was fabulous. Even in winter of January we are able to sit outside and enjoy our dinner without freezing.

RF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An office event with corporate folks from East Coast. Chops cooked perfectly and heard oyster selection was great. Sturgeon was a hit. Mark was the waiter I believe. The Somm I think was David and he was excellent and the selected wines were excellent. Both Merry Edwards and Pisoni Pinots were great! Thanks!

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