Foreign Cinema

4.7
5779 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Californian, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Dinner:
Sunday-Wednesday, 5:30pm-10.00pm
Thursday-Saturday, 5:30pm-11.00pm
Weekend Brunch:
Saturday & Sunday, 11:00am-2:30pm
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Phone number
(415) 648-7600 ext. 0
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Gayle Pirie & John Clark
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
21st St.
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Parking details
Valet is available, $15
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Public transit
MUNI: 14 Mission bus; BART: 16th & 24th/Mission station
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Entertainment
Movies; see restaurant website for schedule. While we try to honor all request, none are guaranteed.
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Venture into the distinctive experience of dining at Foreign Cinema. The dramatic candle lit entry welcomes you to a repast that you won’t soon forget. Foreign Cinema brings together the serendipitous relationship between food and film, dining and entertainment. Have your next event with us!

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What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.6

Foreign Cinema in the Mission is a San Francisco classic for brunch, and dinner is solid too.

Ratings 8.5-9.0:Now we’re in the range of absolutely excellent restaurants that you might go to more than once a year/lifetime. These restaurants tend to define a city, and make up the places that you absolutely cannot miss if you want to have any credibility as a restaurant-informed person in a major metropolis.
Reviews from verified diners
5,779 reviews
4.7 out of 5 Stars
Outstanding
77%
Very Good
16%
Good
5%
Fair
1%
Poor
1%
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NK
1 review
4.0Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 3

I thank the restaurant for serving special desert for my husband's birthday.
But the KOBE steak was too salty and I expected the mood with cinema but it was my mistake.
However, service, wine and overall mood was nice.

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AF
1 review
2.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

We were hugely disappointed with the service we received during our visit.

First, we made a reservation for 4 outside and while there were several 5 top tables available, we were told it would be at least another 20 minutes. So, we were seated inside.

While the runners and everyone in a black shirt was very attentive, our main waiter gave us horrible service. Drinks were ordered, never got delivered. When we asked about it, no apology was given for forgetting about them. One of the mixed drinks tasted like it had no liquor in it at all. When we complained, again, not even an apology.

After the food was delivered, the waiter did not return to check on the quality, nor to see if we needed anything, like more drinks.

The food was very tasty, but be prepared for very small portions. The clams appetizer we ordered literally had 6 tiny clams in it. The broth had a wonderful flavor, just wish there more clams in the order.

Overall, the experience was very disappointing.

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PV
Seattle
6 reviews
5.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best service, food, and ambiance

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had Saturday brunch here for our 3 year wedding anniversary. I highly recommend this spot. Food is amazing, service is 105% and the atmosphere is everything you’d want from a brunch spot. A-ok in my books.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a good time

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OT
London
1 review
4.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food was great but the blood mary was way too spicy for me....

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
5.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were amazing! We’ll be coming back!

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OT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
5.0Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was fantastic! Our server was so fun and gave great recommendations. The calamari appetizer was phenomenal. I had the sea bass, which was perfect and so unique with a fig and walnut topping. My husband had the duck and was equally impressed with that. Everything was great! It is very loud in there, but we didn’t mind. Will definitely return!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
4.0Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and service. Awesome for a special occasion or date night. Oysters and small plates were great. Tried the fried chicken based on reviews and it was just OK. Flights of whiskey was a bonus.

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s
1 review
4.0Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was good but a little overpriced for what it was. It had a nice atmosphere.

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SS
1 review
1.0Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Not many food options and confusing menu. I wasn’t able to figure out what to eat. No vegetarian options and very limited chicken option.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
1.0Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

We had a reservation at 8:45 and we finally got to the table at 9:50. The servicer was okay but they do really take their time. The food was good but the portion is very small.

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LR
New York Area
2 reviews
4.0Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We visited in July. Foreign Cinema has a beautiful outdoor patio, with string lights and ample heaters. Ambiance was romantic, food was delicious! The menu is comprised of a selection of amuse-bouche sized bites, small plates to share and mains. The dessert list is creative and our Tres Leches cake was DELICIOUS! If weather predicts wind, request an inside table. If your unable to sit inside, request blankets to keep yourself warm :-) Highly recommend!

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New England
1 review
5.0Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We do not live in SF but our son does. We come to FC every trip out. The food is ALWAYS great. Service always top notch. FC is one of my favorites of any city

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OT
Dallas
4 reviews
5.0Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Bartender was honest and so personable.

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WS
1 review
5.0Dined on July 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect for date night. Service was top. Ambiance was excellent. Different kind of concept

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r
San Francisco
47 reviews
5.0Dined on July 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been eating here for years. It's wonderful. This time I had the sesame curry fried chicken and an arugula peach salad. My husband had the wedge salad with jalapeno cream dressing and a mixed grill plate. Everything was beyond delicious. I highly recommend Foreign Cinema.

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x
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined on July 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely loved it. The duck and fried chicken are a must!

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JO
San Francisco
2 reviews
5.0Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is fresh and inventive. The wine list is diverse and reasonably priced. The service is attentive, but not fussy. All this equals a great meal full of unexpected twists and surprises. A very special place.

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AJ
San Francisco
1 review
3.0Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food was pretty

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m
Montreal
15 reviews
4.0Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Been here atleast 5 times in the last few months.
Solid brunch and dinner.
Food and drinks are great.
Well priced too.

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SF
Austin
14 reviews
4.0Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Moved to Austin last year and just brought my boyfriend here to experience a landmark restaurant experience in SF. This place never disappoints. Al Fresco dining even with heaters is always fun.

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s
San Francisco
18 reviews
5.0Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

One of our favorite places in the world. The vegetables and produce always very fresh but also with some very interesting spices (such as persian eggs and very special mole with their squid). Not everything is equally a hit, alas: the soup is always a bland disappointment. The wine program is sensational and a relatively good value in some areas, including wines by the glass. The service runs the full gammit: almost always the servers are warm and know the menu well. Sometimes the service is rather slow and sometimes some of the servers seem a little disinterested. I understand the problem is partly that the house takes a large share of the tip pool for the back of the house so harder to keep some superstar servers.

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AE
San Francisco
2 reviews
4.0Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Cinema is a wonderful restaurant with amazing food and service. If you sit outside in the evening there is a movie playing on one wall. The only thing that keeps me from going back often is it is quite expensive for fairly small plates.

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f
San Francisco
6 reviews
4.0Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

My husband and I went for brunch. The food was really good and the service was outstanding. We will definitely be back!

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OT
Seattle
1 review
4.0Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

bartender overcharged us for a glass of wine

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A
Los Angeles
3 reviews
5.0Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was awesome!

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RR
San Francisco
18 reviews
5.0Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Cinema is one of my long term favorites. The food is excellent and the service as it should be. The weather was nice, so I sat out on the patio. Although the restaurant was almost full, the noise level was tolerable.

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z
San Francisco
25 reviews
3.0Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The duck pate in agnolotti was really good; it was almost like eating a savory dish and dessert in one dish (in a good way!). Sadly, the porchetta di Testa and the rib eye were disappointing. The blueberry shortcake fell short as well.

I'd like to go back and give it another chance and try other dishes. It's just disappointing that the rib eye which a splurge ($60) was not that great.

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AF
New York Area
1 review
5.0Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visited from SF from NY and this came to me highly recommended. Everything was delicious, from the bread on the table to the duck we ordered.

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H
San Francisco
1 review
5.0Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never disappoints, whether for a special occasion or just for a fun night out with friends. The food, service and wine list are all extraordinary.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
5.0Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best steak and duck I've had! Love the ambiance too. The dining area us very open and airy. It's quite deceiving when you look at their front door and entry hallway.

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SF
San Francisco
17 reviews
5.0Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the most delicious meal last night at Foreign Cinema! Each time we go there it just gets better and better. Everything we ate was excellent, service was outstanding and we have always loved the space. We can’t wait to go back. Kudos to Steven the manager and our excellent server, Leo for making it a special evening!

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FT
San Francisco
6 reviews
4.0Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Foreign Cinema remains a great venue ... year in and year out. It's nice to see that it remains a dependable, foodie option in a city with lots of new trendy restaurants.

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PJ
Hawaii
13 reviews
5.0Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great server (unfortunately I forgot his name) and we just followed his recommendations and everything was fantastic. The pork chop was the best I ever had. Will definitely come again.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
4.0Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Liked the chicken - please don’t change the recipe. It’s the best friend chicken in the 5 time zones.

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P
Nashville
13 reviews
5.0Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! We were seated inside so we did not get to see the movie but the atmosphere was fabulous. It was expensive but worth every penny. I highly recommend it and will return here when I come back to San Francisco.

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n
San Francisco
10 reviews
4.0Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our second visit and enjoyed it as much as the first. Two appetizers to begin - both were delicious. Mains - two in our party had the half crab; one with risotto as a side and the other with salad. Both felt the crab was good but perhaps had been frozen - they felt the crab lacked that strong, sweet sea smell of fresh crab. Both sides were rated highly. The other two chose the curry fried chicken with slaw. We both liked the chicken but we weren't jumping up and down. Slaw was fine. Didn't have dessert. Got a nice bottle of pinot for a very decent restaurant price. Service was very good - attentive but not rushed or intrusive.

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TS
Washington DC
1 review
5.0Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the experience, service is excellent, just wish it had been darker so we could have watched a movie- next time I’ll arrive later!!

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NA
San Francisco
4 reviews
5.0Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is overall a great restaurant to eat at and the ambience around you is just a great feel.

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