Foreign Cinema

4.7
5964 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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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.
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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Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

We will be serving a festive 3 course prix fixe dinner for $130 per person, each course will include multiple options including vegetarian dishes. This will be the only dining option for NYE, no a la carte menu. There will be special wines by the glass & cocktails to help bring in the new year well!

Monday, December 31, 2018

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.
What 5964 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 5

Terrible service

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c
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 2

Sound is deafening and conversation is almost impossible. Waiter was okay if a bit slow, but the busing was unprofessional. The worst was the way dishes were removed, reaching across diners to retrieve plates rather than going around an accessible table to remove.

The food and drink were as I remembered, very good, but the noise level is horrendous with no sound baffling of any kind. With a filled house on a Monday it would seem there are many others who do not mind it.

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O
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Extremely noisy and not a good place
To visit and share a conversation.
Food and service was excellent!

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GG
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was celebrating my 50th with friends! Love the service and the food was exceptional.

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

Foreign Cinema is such a classy yet laid back place. Perfect place for a date! I took my boyfriend there for his birthday - great service and ambience overall. We ordered some Island Creek oysters, the lamb and the Grilled Kobe Bavette (highly recommend all of these).

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

A really great experience. Food and wine was just fantastic!

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

Thank you wonderful Foreign Cinema team for making this night very special in celebration of my husband’s 60th. Cheers to Shannon, Noelle and Lexi.

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DR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been 4x now and everytime everything everyone is SUPERLATIVE. Love Love bringing folks here who've not been before. Thank you Thank YOU oxo

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R
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

We have been here numerous times and try to take visitors when they come up to San Francisco. We had a cousin Sandra visiting from Portsmouth England with her son and wife and wanted to take them to a great San Francisco restaurant. Unfortunately the service tonight was not up to par for a party of 5 which I am sure you have handled much bigger. Our server not only forgot our olive appetizer with our other appetizers that were served and almost completed, when my husband asked if the olives were forgotten. The server replied "I will go see what happen to them". They appeared afterwards, I didn't know olives took longer than the fresh stretched mozzarella and goat cheese appetizer. We did not get our cocktails until we were finishing our appetizers due to him explaining that they could not find the Gin my cousin ordered. Why have spirits listed in such an extensive book to choose from if they had them buried away, I wondered.
I ordered soup before my meal and our server actually said "your soup will be out soon" but it never came. We got our dinner coarse and my soup still never came, nor did our server to ask how our meal was going. My husband actually had to go get our server to order a beer and ask if my soup was still coming. Most of us were done with our meal when the soup came and finally the beer we asked for a while ago. Once we decided to order desert to continue with our visit and conversation, the deserts finally came and Sandra did not have a spoon to eat her desert with. Again, my husband had to ask a different server from another table if we could get a spoon. It was a complete disappointment and my cousin said "the food was good but the service definatly made this meal mediocre". I will say it wasn't worth $430.00.
Charli Moriwaki-Cormack

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AC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Order the goat cheese!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Perfect ambience for date and special occasion. Good food.

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JS
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Cinema was one of the best movie and dine experiences in San Francisco. My girlfriend loved it

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JE
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

FC is, and always has been one of my favorite places to go in the city. I've been going since the doors first opened and had communal tables outside. Things have changed a lot over the years, and of late I've noticed that the prices have gotten much higher, portions are smaller, and the servers are not of the caliber from maybe 3-4 years ago. All that being said, it will not stop me from coming back. I simply cannot come as often as I would like... due to the things mentioned above. Thank you for your time.

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WG
New England
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing and iconic, great ambience for a date night or birthday.

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OT
Dallas
53 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Best meal I had in San Francisco this trip.
Recommend the pork chop, duck and curry chicken. Unique setting.

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EM
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco but my visit on 10/7 a was disappointing due to lackluster service. We had a 7:30 reservation... had to wait almost 20 minutes until we got seated... no "make good" drink offer was made while we were waiting around, nor anything once we got seated. In fact, once seated, our server was quick to bring us menus.. but then disappeared for about 10 minutes, as he passed by I asked if I could put in a drink order at least. He promptly returned, but the whole waiting to get seated and then put in a drink order at least 30 minutes after our reservation was a service fail. And then especially more of a service fail with no acknowledgement / apologies for wait or make good for it. I've worked in the hospitality industry, and know that a place like Foreign Cinema knows how to run their service better, and they have certainly done so in the past.

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DC
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service beyond exceeded my expectations. All the usual brunch-type egg dishes and more, comfort food - elevated. Superb ingredients, cooked perfectly, presented beautifully.

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AA
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is always wonderful. We had an especially good birthday celebration over brunch.

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K
Oxford
21 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Nice restaurant, decoration but overpriced food and sometimes no so good as they think it is.

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PS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as always
Interesting cocktails
Delicious food
Unbelievably delicious desserts

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MG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is amazing! Each dish was a unique explosion of interesting flavors. Service was friendly and helpful. Will go again!

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SM
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We’ve had better dining experiences.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great although would give it a 4/5 because of the prices and lousy service.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Dinner with my father who was in town visiting from home.

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OT
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious.outside atmosphere was perfect

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M
New York Area
155 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the best SF spot . Diverse audience ; great service ; fresh inventive menu ; friendly staff ; great environment !

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B
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alfredo our server was amazing. Made sure we had our glasses of wine matched with each course and assisted us in choosing all. Great service, great food, great place.

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e
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a big group and they were very accommodating. The wine and food were amazing and we had a great evening.

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MD
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant has always been a personal favorite, and it never disappoints.

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r
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for brunch and the food was amazing! Had the shrimp plancha, breakfast tostada with pork, and scrambled huevos rancheros. Service was great, too. We can just imagine the space at night when the movie is playing.

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SH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Decent food but the service was cold, unfriendly and left something to be desired. Ambiance was very good and enjoyable. If you are not looking for a special night out and just in and out then you may not be disappointed. We were on a date night and with the prices we were paying, we expected a better service.

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BG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful vibrant energy. Wendy was a very nice, friendly server who was sincerely interested in helping me and my date enjoy our experience. This is a great date spot.

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D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ambiance was fantastic. Loved the experience of eating under the stars with a breeze and a cool movie playing.

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OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Overall a disappointment. Not accommodating about moving tables. Space way too tight which just set the tone for a disasterous dinner when it starts like that... very negativel

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MF
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I came here to celebrate our anniversary and absolutely loved it! The atmosphere was perfect for a romantic night out.

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R
London
5 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is great. One accounting item I’m seeing more and more is the suggested tip is based on the taxed and additional SF mandate tax. I thought we tipped on the service? Seems sneaky to me...hope the workers are benefiting well from the healthcare tax that the dining public is paying.

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T
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A+++++! Loved everything thing about it. Off the charts.

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f
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Service was great and the food delicious. The fried chicken was Amazing!! I also loved the beef tartare. It’s a perfect business meal sorta place especially if you’re on an expense account.

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J
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful Ambiance & Service (and the food rocks too)!! Had a great late night business meal the other night. Helpful and knowledgable staff. We sat outside and enjoy good food and conversation while Napoleon Dynamite played on the building wall. Super fun and cool. I'll be back again for sure.

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SP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food is always creative and beautifully presented. The service on 2 recent visits was haphazard, unfocused and did not meet my expectations.

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