Foreign Cinema

4.6
6245 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.

Specials

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

For Easter we're offering a celebratory 3 course menu for $70 per person & children for $25, there will be choices in each course. This is the only menu available, there won't be an a la carte option. We have a 48hr cancellation policy, it's $50 per person if cancelled after 5pm on Friday 4/19.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

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 6245 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
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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TB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambiance. The noise level was exactly what we had hoped...not too loud. Service was great and the food was good.

Was not too thrilled with the movie....Star Wars. I thought we were going to see the classic movie with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman...Spellbound. Overall, we had a great experience.

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

We came here for our wedding anniversary dinner. Getting reservation on open table was an easy process and they also sent us appointment confirmation and text. Once we arrived the dinner table was ready for us. We got a nice cute, cozy spot. They severed us complimentary champagne for our anniversary that was so nice of them and greatly appreciated. We ordered carafe, oysters, ceviche, fried chicken and then best was scallops and potatoes and we ended with custard desert. Definelty we will recommend people to try this romantic cozy ambience with delicious food and wine. We are certainly coming again and brining our friends along😊

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

Foreign Cinema is always one of our top choices! Always delicious!!

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HW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

It is a special place for a meaningful dinner. The food is good, consider about their price. It was a little bit noisy since the tables are pretty close to each other. Overall, it’s a wonderful restaraunt to gain a unique experience.

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MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I have visited Foreign Cinema many times before, but there has been a pause in recent years, because
I live relatively far away within SF. I am very impressed by the constant quality of the food and the consistent level of refinement. Our meals were truly outstanding ! I will make sure to come back more often or whenever I can afford it - I am retired, by the way.
Thanks and best regards -
MM

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Une catastrophe du début à la fin
Une heure d’attente pour avoir la table réservée après plusieurs relances
Des plats légers... et souvent il n’y a pas les plats du menu...
Très cher...

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

Everything was excellent .

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TJ
New Orleans
5 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was excellent. The food was good, but a little underwhelming.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service good and food. Hard to find parking

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent through and through

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Made a reservation and was placed upstairs where they have large parties. No ambiance, bad service and just ok food.

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I
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Thé wine list was amazing but over priced, $20 for an average Pinot? Come on guys, I don’t mind paying but I want to be dazzled. That being said, the wines were varied and very good. The food was good( albeit a bit pretentious) but I would return for the wine list.

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NB
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love dining at the Foreign Cinema, and always return for special occasions (or just because), when visiting the city. Lovely, great food and service, and the ambiance is perfect!💕

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KL
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign Cinema is by far our favorite restaurant in San Francisco. When we come in from DC, we always make a reservation to experience Foreign Cinema, and have the amazing Leo as our waiter.
Leo is the most consummate professional was such warmth and panache, we consider him a friend that we have the privilege of visiting with when we dine at your amazing restaurant. I just ordered the cookbook, and we have made one of the recipes so far. The porkchops are always incredible. In fact, you inspired a pork chop cook off between me and my husband. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

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C
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was very good. However, the service was subpar. We were seated inside, where we couldn't see the movie that was playing. the server looked exhausted. He was slow at coming to take our order, remove dishes and to give us our bill. People around us were loud, and because it was a large group, the server paid more attention to them. I'm not sure if I would go again in the near future. It would be nice if they were explicit about the seating arrangement. I was looking forward to the movie, and was disappointed that we were seated in an area where we couldn't watch the movie.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Make sure to ask for seats not right by the kitchen

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RA
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, one the best locations for Oysters in SF, service is amazing, and the food in overall is exceptional, definitely worth trying.

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BH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

While the food truly is excellent here, we had one of the worst service experiences. The waiter rarely came to our table and when he did, he seemed annoyed that we asked questions and did not provide any helpful answers. The price of the food is not worth the poor level of service.

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AG
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 4

Food was great, but unfortunately our waiter was one of the worst I've ever had. He was just plain rude.

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BO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Painfully loud by 7pm, but lovely before then. We had the most delicious meal that we’ve had in a long time. Delightful, attentive service. Beautiful crowd.

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SF
San Francisco
52 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Friendly, helpful, professional server. Baked cheese appetizer was overwhelmed by roasted garlic, rubbery and unappealing. One pork chop was twice the size of the second order at our table making for an awkward situation, and both were overcooked. Steak entree was appetizer-size portion. Despite a request at booking for a quiet table, we could converse only by yelling among the four of us. Overall a great disappointment relative to past experiences at Foreign Cinema.

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L
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I love the place. It’s cool. Feels nice and people there looks cool too. The food was really good, just not memorable. That was never the reason I like to go there, but I really recommend to everybody who asks me where to go in Da. francisco.

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MR
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this restaurant, I've been frequenting it since it opened. Though I lived in Manhattan up until a year ago, I was often here and when I was I would make FC a stop on my "food tour". Freshest oysters ever, with a delicate mignonette sauce, and my one indulgence, their buttermilk fried chicken. As my mother says, once a year won't kill you. And it is worth it as are all the other dishes they offer.
The atmosphere is congenial, the service impeccable although this past visit it took unusually long to have our mains served. The oysters came out right away. And the hosts/hostesses are friendly, accommodating and gorgeous too!

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always awesome and delicious. This time was no different . Highly recommend!!

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HT
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been coming here for years. This is one spot that I always go to and is consistently great. Highly recommended.

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YF
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious. Did not have to wait for our food. I will be returning soon.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere!

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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

First the restaurant should not even bother advertising a movie playing. Based off the advertising we were looking forward to watching the movie... advertised. However, as our first waiter commented sarcastically “this isn’t AMC”. We made reservations via open table app. It would have been nice if there was an option between the 3 very different areas. When we arrive we were sat in an all white room. This is where our first waiter explained this isn’t AMC and people do not come to watch the movies. Left me scratching my head given the name of the restaurant and advertising. We then asked if we could move to the outside seating. Waiter seemed annoyed but went to ask the hostess. He then came back and told us we could sit outside but would have to wait 20-30 minutes. No problem. He then told us to go to the bar and wait. We asked where the bar was located, he vaguely pointed toward a door and walked away. Once we found the bar we ordered drinks. Once our drinks were made one of the front desk ladies came to let us know our new table was ready. She then stood there while we awkwardly tried to gather our coats,purse, and drinks. She did not even offer to assist with carrying the drinks or at least my wife’s drink. From there we were seated outside. I was rather furious at this point due to the rudeness and snootiness of the staff. I was ready to tell my my wife let’s leave and eat elsewhere. But she was eager to come here for her birthday dinner so I gave it a bit more. Once the next waiter came things changed. He was very polite and informative. Helped us choose oysters off his preferences and opinion. They were very good by the way. The party sitting next to us was a delight. We ended up chatting with them for awhile and made more food choices based upon their recommendations. They certainly helped turn our mood. The food was all amazing. Would definitely like to eat here again and try other dishes, but I don’t think we would due snottiness from the staff.

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m
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service. Great food.

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JD
Calgary
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 5

Very bad service and the server knew little about the menu. The steaks came out Blue rare when we ordered medium.
The chicken dish came out with cold french fries.
The wine we ordered was very good but it should be for 103$.

Overall we had high expectations but left with the worst dining experience in years.

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KD
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Appetizers and Desserts are not so tasteful.. The main dishes are fine!

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N
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Been celebrating my birthday here for 10 years, it never disappoints. LOVE this place!

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k
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 1

Have been here many times and sat in the patio and have always had a good experience although we
were sat in the back room this time.
It was horribly loud. We felt like we were in a gymnasium. The waiter was unable to seat us elsewhere and said it was loud because of the large party next to us. However we noticed that they were not that loud it was just that room. We could barely hear each other speak. We won't be back again.

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g
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If I had limitless income, I would eat here every night. Top notch through the years....

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TC
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

We went for Sunday brunch. Luckily we had reservations because when we arrived to the restaurant, the line was out the door. The only complaint I have was the hostess (a young woman) was incredibly rude, unfriendly, and unwelcoming. Being my first time at the restaurant, I went up to the front of the long line to ask her if we needed to wait in line with everyone else if we had reservations. She responded rudely and appeared to be annoyed that I had walked up to ask the question. We almost left the restaurant, however, we had my 78 year old mother-in-law and 76 year aunt with us, so we stayed. The brunch menu items are very unique and interesting. I had the baguette french toast, my husband had the croque madame, my mother-in-law had robust flat omelet rojo and my aunt had the tostada. The food was amazingly delicious. We were seated outside which was nice due to the restaurant having outside heaters to keep us warm. The service was impeccable, in terms of the waiter, but I rated the service 3 stars instead of 5 stars because of the hostess. Overall, I would definitely recommend this restaurant, just avoid conversing with the hostess.

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K
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great experience to celebrate my mother’s birthday there for brunch. They brought us birthday card and sorbet with candle

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M
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Foreign Cinema! This was one of my favorite brunches in the city and our waitress was lovely. I definitely recommended the lavender goat cheese and the bacon. They were very accommodating of our family and the ambiance was lovely.

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VP
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

It was a beautiful experience - we loved the food, the ambience and the whole evening.

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LP
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent location and very good service. Prime quality food. Great atmosphere!

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J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 3ambience 3

Had a reservation for over a month, was put in back corner in all white room farthest away from any view, outside, ambiance, etc. Since had visitors in town who had looked forward to this for weeks, requested to be moved, however all tables were taken outside. Thankfully had a table next to fireplace in main room that had at least character to it- but was overall majorly disappointed with the evening. The food was spectacular and our waiter was so great which made the night. Now at least know if ever making reservations maybe request main, outside, or modern as a section so patrons can know the experience you will have. Was looking forward to watching a movie while we ate- so it was a learning experience at least.

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