Foreign Cinema

4.6
6546 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 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 6546 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
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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t
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and service. Loved it!!

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

Alfredo was a great server and very patient with our group. Everything was excellent except the Baked Alaska was different. The chocolate pot was the best I have ever tasted. The duck had perfectly crisped fat.

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

Always a wonderful time at Foreign Cinema. Great food,love the ambiance. They always treat us like we’re special. That’s why we keep coming back, especially for our anniversary!

MV
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great location, however rather noisy.
Flexible staff.
Beautiful menu. Champagne risotto was best risotto ever!
Nice wines and good action on our remarks.
Would definitely go back.
It was rather expensive but worth it!

L
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

overall, i was disappointed in this spot. there is so much hype around it and the food was just ok and the service was awful. our waiter was quite awkward at first and then he became very rude. the calamari appetizer dish was awesome and the risotto was good. everything else was just ok. would not come back.

OT
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food is great! Would definitely recommend.

g
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

We had a not great experience. 6pm reservation, ordered food right away and did not get served entrees until almost 8pm. Asked for multiple things and server forgot. Meal was $300 for 4 people which also felt high for the poor service.

A
Palm Springs
18 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and ambiance, definitely top notch!

c
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 5

Flavor is mediocre at best. Server had an unfriendly demeanor and disposition. Food is way over priced for the flavor and portions provided. The only positive was the ambiance. Great courtyard to have dinner.

J
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

The food, the ambiance, and the overall experience was incredible. One of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco. The patio is so romantic. However, our server was a bit cold and condescending but we'll try it again and hope for a better experience.

AL
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Always love a Foreign Cinema brunch. But this time, for dinner, the service was really amiss.
Front doors were jamming so that multiple guests thought the restaurant was closed, servers were confused or awkward, and we were asked several times whether dishes belonged to us or whether we ordered them etc. Overall lots of misses in service at every turn. A little embarassed as a couple, but would have been even more so had I brought a client.

a
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 2

Great food. Horrible service ! African American gentleman server who seemed tired and completely not into being there ! Slow service but worse disinterested and lackluster . Told us lunch crowd had worn him out . Ya no kidding !

c
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

This is our second time to FC. we brought some visiting family members this time. They were out of so many dishes by dinner on Sunday, it actually starting getting funny whenever the waiter came back to tell us that they were out of sow thing because brunch was so busy. Not his fault- but perhaps tell people upfront when you are out of something, that way they can order the right drink, and they don’t get their hopes up. Food was not as good as the last time, either.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious and the service great. Even gave us a candle in our dessert as we were celebrating our honeymoon.

LL
Tahoe
15 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We were very underwhelmed. The food was not impressive at all. Small portions, overpriced, and most of it did not taste super fresh. We had oysters, lobster, shrimp cocktail and the baby lettuce salad. Cocktails were innovative and tasty, but small. Wine pours were meager and expensive. Noisy. We would not go back. We had great expectations after a rave recommendation. So disappointed.

F
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I really like Foreign Cinema. The food and the ambiance are really nice.

The servers are really nice and accommodating, but I recommend slowing down a bit. Our awesome waitress came back as soon as we sat down. That's nice but we hadn't had a chance to look at the menu yet. Food came really quickly, so were the constant "is everything ok", we felt rushed and constantly interrupted. As soon as one of us put our fork down, we were asked if we were done. Our plates were removed really quickly too. There were a lot of empty tables so i'm not sure I understood the rush but either way, it did impact our experience.

SO
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Really poor service mind.
No smile no attention to customer.
Compared with service, high price as well.
Just for atmosphere experience is good.

C
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite restaurants in the city. Never disappoints!!

M
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I hadn’t been here in years and it is still amazing. Good, service and ambiance are still wonderful. I would recommend Foreign Cinema to anyone.

JG
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first visit here and it was great. A very cool place from the minute you step into the old hallway used for the movie theater. The interior of the restaurant is spacious and fun. We were there before it got dark enough for the movie to be shown, but I can imagine it would be a lively atmosphere in the courtyard area.

The food was excellent, from the soup, the baby lettuces salad, the baked cheese and duck appetizers, to the swordfish entree. Well prepared with unique seasonings. The pot de creme was rich without being too heavy.

Melanie was our server and she was knowledgeable, helpful, and always within reach when we needed her.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

This restaurant was highly recommended by several local foodies so maybe we just ordered the wrong things. We found the food very disappointing and quite overpriced for what it was. However, the wine list was spectacular and the sommelier extremely helpful.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We showed up right at opening for a Saturday brunch. Everyone was friendly and sat us right away. The place has a lot of character but the food stole the show. I had the pork chili verde and was extremely happy with it. I tried my wife’s French toast and was amazed. It was all good!

R
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious! Definitely is on the expensive side but you will have a good time :)

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Held a surprise birthday party for my wife. Foreign Cinema was great about seating everyone before we got there and humoring me when I came up and said we had a table for two. Our server was great and the chef even brought out an extra dessert. Food and ambiance were great.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

our food was amazing! the corn ice cream was like nothing i’ve every tasted before... brilliant. it was a romantic and lovely evening overall.

MM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food and service excellent - wine list is pricey - starts at the $70 range. Inside is noisy - outside is a better bet if you want to hear the person you’re with

RS
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Everything about the Birthday dinner was thoughtful.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 5

The host wasn’t very friendly and guided us to a table inside, tucked in the corner right next to where a large family was seated while there were many empty tables outside!!!!! It was clearly mentioned on the reservation that the event was special (my birthday + a date) and they didn’t even bother checking that I guess! Didn’t quite expect that service on a birthday :(

R
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Although the food was great, and I loved the atmosphere the service was what made th experience go downhill. We waited about 10 minutes to get helped by our server, but what made my experience bad was the fact that I waited for my entree for 30 minutes. YES 30 MINUETS!! Not once did our server come to check in during that time, and when he did he told us that he was going to check on our plate. By that point we had already asked for the bill, and wanted to go home. What made the experience even worse was that it was my wife’s birthday and we wanted to celebrate and have a good time. Unfortunately the service made us want to leave and completely disappointed the occasion.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

It was a little confusing as to when the movie would be playing. We were not so subtly told to move tables so they could get other paying customers in our seats. We were told to move to the very front or side tables to await the movie, but it was so awkward. The idea is cute, but the execution left much to be desired for the price.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Cinema’s experience was outstanding. It really makes a difference to have knowledge and passionate people providing a wonderful service to clients . From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave everyone is very attentive polite and helpful. The food was delicious as well ! Can’t wait to go back soon

H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best French Toast Ever. A great wine list. One of my favorite places to eat.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was good. Place was pretty. Service was very slow

SS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant! Always delivers a great time!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outdoor seating was cozy despite the summer SF winds. Friendly, thoughtful service and delectable food. We both had the NY steak for our entrees but I don’t think you could really go wrong with anything the menu.

RS
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect for a festive closing dinner with client.

f
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Arrived here for brunch on a Saturday- reservations are definitely needed! The service is outstanding and the food is good. It's one of those cute places where they definitely overcharge you for everything and you get a moderate portioned food. They try to be bougie and they succeed. I'm not sure it's worth the hype- I can definitely get more for less elsewhere. But, if you want to be where the trendy folk are- this is your place. I enjoyed the cinnamon bun and the brunch bowl- something you can share with one person or just for yourself. The outside scene is nice and there is shade to shield you from the sun. Once you go, I don't know if you need to return. Glad I tried it. We enjoyed the scene and the parties around us made it nice and lively.

NJ
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Fiancé and I went out to dinner. Slow service was kind of a bummer but the food was amazing!

RC
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Our waitress had a very unfortunate personality, would rarely ask us what else we needed, never smiled, would only take 1 order then walk away as we were talking. When we asked how certain dishes were, she would only say "yeah its really good". She wouldn't acknowledge our questions, for example, I politely asked for more water and she walked away so I thought she must not of heard me, but she came back and just slammed the the water container on the table and walked away without saying a word. Normally, waitresses would serve the water for you and then be social.

i
London
4 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing and unique place in SFO. Don’t miss this spot for a very, very unusual dining experience.

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