Foreign Cinema

4.7
6133 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

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

We will be serving a festive 3 course dinner menu for $130 per person, each course will include multiple options including vegetarian dishes. This will be the only dining option for Valentine's Day, no a la carte menu. There will be special wines by the glass & cocktails available as well.

Thursday, February 14, 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 6133 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
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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c
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Phenomenal food. Always great service. It starts with delicious cocktails and then every part of the meal is perfect.

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N
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Greeted and seated efficiently and friendly. Presented with a glass each of champagne as it was our anniversary (on the house). So nice

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

inefficient waiter. mannerism was pleasant overall but took a while to acknowledge our arrival and bring us menu. Interrupted us and tried to take the signed check in an intrusive manner. Food was decent but not much to yearn and come back for.

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LR
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Foreign Cinema and have often gone when we want to splurge. This was a visit on a chilly, rainy night, and the fire in the dining room fireplace, along with the welcome from the staff and the wood paneling and lighting made for a warm, cozy feel. Our opening cocktails were delicious and fresh, and we were glad to see the Kumamoto oysters on the menu. I had a hearty starter: the plancha of calamari in mole sauce, served with tortilla chips. It was very tasty, the calamari was tender and the sauce rich and thick. My husband ordered the pork chop, which arrived tender and flavorful, while I had a perfectly textured risotto. It was perhaps a little bland, but comforting on a winter's evening. We shared a carafe of the Syrah and wished we had opted for the bottle. My husband finished up with the cheese plate, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and I ordered the vanilla meringue with grapefruit curd. The mixture of the ultra-sweet meringue and tart curd did not quite do it for me... I wished I had tried the olive oil cake instead. But that was the only little regret of the evening, and we will certainly return for our next splurge.

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a
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

This was our couple’s anniversary brunch with our toddler daughter. The service was very slow. And our server did not remind us for the desserts (a part of the kids course menu) when we asked for our check. So we paid for ice creams that we didn’t even get to see. We forgot but we felt that the servers should have reminded us.

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

I’ve been wanting to try this place for years so i finally did. The place is gorgeous and the service was great. The food was good but not wow. For the price, I expected much better food that would impress me. I would go again and try out the dinner menu and maybe that might impress me. Maybe someone can take me instead of me treating. Haha.

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P
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 1

We were seated in their new "gallery" space, which is just a big white room with a few pieces of cartoonish artwork on the walls and a high ceiling. There is no sound deadening at all, and absolutely none of the ambience which is a big part of the appeal of dining at Foreign Cinema. Several subsequent patrons declined to be seated in the gallery, which is the route I wish I'd taken as well. Very disappointed.

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

Best ribeye I’ve ever had. My girlfriend has Celiac disease, and the kitchen modified everything for her

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BM
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Service was very poor. Food was ok, not great. Unfortunately Foreign Cinema no longer seems to be that great restaurant it used to. Service needs to improve if they'd like to stay in the top 100 SF restaurants. Very poor indeed.

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a
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

Our first order was forgotten but no apologies or follow up. Had to ask multiple times t

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

Delicious food, excellent service and beautiful space

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AH
Jackson Hole
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent food and friendly efficient service and they make a good cocktail.

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

It was my birthday so I went to Foreign Cinema with my friend. We literally enjoyed the time in there, and the service was perfect.

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OT
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Duck was cold but the restaurant was hot! So many outdoor heaters! Indifferent waiter. Added nothing to the experience. Amazing pork chop! Most a disappointing night compared to the expectations.

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l
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Absolutely delicious inventive food. We all shared. The duck, swordfish, kobe steak, winter salad / all amazing. The wines were excellent. The meyer lemon dessert divine.

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EE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foreign cinema is a unique experience of high quality food in a gallery-like setting. The room we sat in has a nice minimal design, dominantly white, with a bunch of pop-art frames on the wall, which creates an interesting artsy ambience.

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Denver
3 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Good for groups, a bit pricey

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LW
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dinner and unique ambiance, wine list is extensive

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was fantastic. Creative mixes of flavors and presentation. Everything was a delight. Our waiters recommendations were wonderful and the the restaurant provided a desert to help us celebrate my wife’s birthday. A great evening from start to finish.

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RM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Server was inattentive and completely disinterested in serving us. I would not recommend this restaurant.

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DS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Foreign Cinema and have been coming here for years (like, since it first opened). The only blemish on our experience was that I had noted in my res that we were celebrating a birthday... and, despite this, the hostess (without asking if we had an in/outside pref), sat us at arguably the worst table in the restaurant -- inside, right next to the kitchen. Honestly, my instinct (and experience) tells me that she did this because we were three 50-something y.o. women and maybe she assumed we wouldn't complain. I should also mention this was a Wed night and there were several tables open outside. Since this was my (birthday girl) friend's first time at F.C., I wanted her to have the "real" experience (outside, with the actual "cinema"). I did end up asking to be moved out there, even though both friends told me they were fine inside. SO glad I did!! It was MUCH easier to hear each other outside, and the temp and ambiance was a million times better. We had a fabulous server (though I'm sure that would have been true inside as well). We proceeded to enjoy a wonderful $400 dinner between the 3 of us, with cocktails, oysters, appetizers, etc. Love Foreign Cinema, but please don't just seat people without asking if they would prefer inside or outside... *especially* a group of "mid aged" women!!!!

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B
Cornwall
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food is fabulous. Innovative menu and delicious execution. Wine list interesting.
Fun restaurant although noisy.
As a Brit I am disappointed by lack of cloakroom. Expensive coats go on the back of chairs to trail on the floor and exposed to spills etc.
Poor greeting at door.
Hate the way plates are cleared while some of us still eating. It’s a very expensive restaurant and I expect more!

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I
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been coming here for the past 15 years and you never disappoint.

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D
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful experience! The best waitress, Georgie, tremendously tasty food and romantic atmosphere. I hadn't been to the restaurant for about eight years. Great to return. A great place for birthday dinner.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

This place had great food and service and the outdoor spot with the movie was priceless! - great for a date.

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

Amazing service and experience. My girlfriend and I will definitely be back.

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

My friend and I went here for dinner together and it was the best venue!!!! I got the scallops and absolutely loved them, although I will say it isn’t a ton of food if you’re really hungry. My friend ordered the bistro steak and was a little
Disappointed in the flavor- her broccoli tasted burnt and the steak was good but she said she was left wishing for more flavoring on it. Either way, we had a great dinner in this super cool venue and would both come back

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T
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Terrible customer service. We were seated, and the waiter just threw our menus on the table without any introduction. No one checked up on us the entire night. The food took forever to come out - we waited probably 20 minutes in between each course that would come out... and the one time we asked for an update of if our meals were almost ready, the waiters just sassed us and told us to be patient. Not only was the customer service bad, but the food was INSANELY over salted. I've heard things about the food being very over rated, but I still wanted to try this place for the ambiance. Now I can confirm all the rumors are true. It's a great place for a date in theory, but I will most definitely not come back. For the amount that I paid for 4 dishes, the service should've been outstanding and it was way below any other restaurant I've been to. Highly disappointed, will not return. Will not recommend to any of my friends.

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DT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good was innovative and delicious, something for everyone. Service was memorable and the space is beautiful, energetic and fun! Ask for a table on the patio if available for a great mix of atmosphere’s. It’s outdoors, but covered and the old movies they show on the wall makes it feel like a vintage drive-in theatre. Great spot.

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JK
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My fiancé and I went to foreign cinema because we heard good things about it. The food and atmosphere were great and I’d recommend anybody going there.

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LB
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All round awesome. It’s a great dining experience for someone who wants something more unique than any other restaurant can provide. Erin, our server was on point. I will go back.

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I
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 1

Great food and mood
But we can feel a draft even we can speak English well.

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YC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is amazing, we mentioned it was our anniversary on our reservation and never again at the restaurant, at the end when we ordered desserts they came out with little "happy anniversary" placards, it was such a sweet and thoughtful touch!

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BR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

For the amount of money and the planning needed to reserve a table, I was expecting more from the restaurant. The service was good, but the timing was a little off; our server slowed in delivering the dessert menu and dropping the check. The food was delicious but didn't stand out compared to other trending restaurants to warrant the price and hoops for securing a table. Also, the pictures on the website lead me to believe all the seating was outdoors, under the lights and with the films playing in the background. We were seated indoors, away from both those atmospheric details. Lastly, the hosts were not warm and welcoming. I want and expect to be cared for anytime I visit a more well to do venue or attraction.

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P
San Antonio
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best place I’ve eaten at in years

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

The first course was cold. Food took a long time to arrive. No special attention of any kind was paid even though I booked the reservation as a birthday and then confirmed this over the phone.

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AP
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

New Years Eve fixed menu was fun and had interesting flavors but ultimately failed to the deliver the ‘wow’ factor I would have wanted to justify the hefty price tag. The main course (I got the tuna steak) was good but not exceptional and the dessert was relatively bland. I would return for the regular menu but not for New Years.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We went for the prefix for New year's. I think we were in the same annex and the food seemed like the same food they serve all the time, just far more expensive. Totally expect the new years mark up, but the room was pretty horrible compared to the other main rooms that are warm and lovely. The food wasn't special. For the cost it felt pretty lame.

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B
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Was pre-paid New Year’s Eve meal, Way overpriced for the quality of the food

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was absolutely fantastic! A great way to ring in the new year.

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