Foreign Cinema

4.6
6194 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.

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 6194 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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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Service was not the best.

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SJ
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a delightful experience with innovative food. Different influences each time I come - Italian one time, Moroccan another, Thai last night. Very cool space. I actually prefer the brunch even though there is no movie. There's a good reason it's so difficult to get a table!

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

Birthday dinner for an older person. Got seated outside on a cold night. They were put out that we requested to move inside. After that they pretty much ignored us for the rest of the meal. The dishes weren’t explained well and we ended up getting things that were cold. The flavors were good, but definitely just average in execution and inventiveness.

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

Loved the ambiance, it’s so beautiful and so unique. The service could have been better.

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

I took My girl here for a late valentines dinner. We sat outside which we though would be cold since it was about 45 degrees out but the space heaters kept us very warm! For an Appetizer we had the Calamari Mole which was VERY tasteful and a good starter for two people to share on while waiting for food. For Our main course we both had a Kobe Steak Dish Cooked Medium which was AMAZING with the sides also being Very tasteful. I’d also like to add that ALL of the hosts and waiters were SUPER cool and had no problem fitting to our needs or even TAKING PICTURES. Will definitely be back for more !

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

We wanted to sit and order food as we dined. Our server, India, was so helpful and knowledgeable about food and wine pairings as well as dessert. She paced us well and was attentive without being overbearing. She also suggested we come back for brunch and we definitely will.

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GW
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is absolutely delicious. The ambiance is really cool. There are two sides and an outdoor section. Both sides have a movie playing on the wall. The one side is an art gallery displaying cool retro art, the other side is like a rustic cool scene.

Highly recommend

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

It is definitely one special place! The food is out of this world and the ambiance is fantastic!

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

one of the best best spots in SF for a special celebration!

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 3

Usually this is a great restaurant but their valentines special was a big disappointment- the food was very far from their best - the upstairs room was not nice - the chairs were very uncomfortable- and overall it was a mediocre meal served in a back room at a very high price for what it was.

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WF
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was skeptical the restaurant would live up to the hype and the price, yet the chef and staff exceeded my expectations nonetheless. This place was not cheap, as I spent just under $400 for two people without any alcohol, but if you’re looking to impress and enjoy an unforgettable meal, I definitely recommend Foreign Cinema. If you’re a SF local, I’d imagine the price isn’t an issue since everyone seems to be rich in that city, though.

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JP
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Great ambiance and vibe, like the projector screens in two rooms. Wish we were seated in kne of those rooms, instead we got seated at the rooms without. Maybe next time, I thought the pre fixed menu for valentines was just ok. The regular items on the menu were better.

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AB
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was on point. The lighting as well as the design of the restaurant is very cool and chic. Would be fantastic in summer time.

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KK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our Valentine's dinner at Foreign Cinema was one for the books - each dish was outstanding, the pacing of the meal was perfect, the ambiance of dining outside during a rainstorm yet staying warm and dry (they even had blankets available!) was perfectly romantic. The only drawback was the paper covering the tables. For a prix-fixe meal of $130/person (plus drinks, over $400) I'd like a white table cloth, not something thrown on top for easy clean-up.

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r
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

didnt know valentines fixed price was 125 per head for 3 courses- with drinks and tip a $500 night - yeehaaa!

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N
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 5

Food was average, service was terrible (when we ask for advice, they just advice the most expensive drinks/ food, without explaining why)
+ they came ask if we were done 10 times, while we were still having diner

Not worth it!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everything was delicious! The wine and cider pours were minuscule though.

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KJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional food and service. An all-around outstanding experience.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Amazing ambience.

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HG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

This place has great ambiance and the food was better than I'd expect... unfortunately they are always so busy... we waited for 20 mins to get a drink refill. Would suggest more support staff or smaller table sections.

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JM
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW

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MW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really loved it - went in with lower expectations becuase I heard decent at best but really was blown away. Great food, great vibe, nice waiter. Will def be back, especially when it's nice out!

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k
San Francisco
71 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great meal. Here with our nearly quarterly dinner club. Too long since our last

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J
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you like bourbon-based cocktails, I highly recommend "The Fox and His Friends." Everyone at our table thought this was the best among the various cocktails we tried. Loved it!

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CJ
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The only issue I had is that the temperature inside the restaurant was drafty and cold. Yes it did rain that morning and the sun did show itself for a while.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was almost an hour late in seating us despite the reservation.

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M
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great ambiance and wine list! The calamari starter is delicious - my boyfriend had the steak and he loved it. I had the risotto and it was fine but nothing stellar. Overall a great night!

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

It was a lovely romantic dinner and everything was amazing! Definitely would return for another special night out!

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WO
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food and service were good. Except the area where we sat was so noisy made it hard to have conservation with each other.

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c
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

a bot louder than usual and very cold and windy outdoor, maybe consider to fully cover the ceiling at the beginning of the year? A part of that everything was perfect as always. Thanks .

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KT
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We were put in the “annex” like room which was like a art gallery with 6 tables set up. The table was broken, it was a weird atmosphere. The food wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. The curry fried chicken was bland. The potatoes with the steak were fried to a crisp. I would maybe go back for cocktails, but not for food.

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T
San Francisco
78 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service are great, but too noisy to converse. Know that going in

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B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

I love the establishment, the hostess, the bartenders, the runners, and the manager. I would go back, just hope we won't be served by the same server. The server at our table has been nice and smiley, however his reaction to our requests is not hospitable. 2 examples: When we decided what 4 of us each want for the main dish, we mentioned to him that we are ready to order. Then one of us asked him questions "what would you recommend for the appetizer?" The server responded with smile "Oh I thought you said you are ready". And when ordering the oysters for the group, the orderer mentioned "a dozen, 3 types and we'd like 1 type as kumamoto. What should we order for the other 2?" The server responded "You need 4 more". The service and overall stars rating dropped due to this.

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V
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Unfortunately it was a terrible experience long wait for food where orders were repeatedly screwed up. Slow and inattentive service. Poor placement for the outside table since it rained and I would rain my back. Food was fine but uneventful. This is not foreign cinema service. My birthday brunch was a disappointment

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D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food with great atmosphere. The pork was exceptional.

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m
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Been here numerous times. Last time thought the food was overpriced for the very small portions. Service was perfunctory. Sad this will no longer be a main go to spot for me

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

We were visiting San Francisco for the first time and were drawn to this place because of the description of the seating/ambiance. We were unfortunately seated upstairs away from the foreign film showing and communal table style, which was a huge let down. The upstairs ambiance was sterile and lifeless, and the evening wasn’t redeemed by the mediocre and overpriced food and service. The hostess was not friendly and our waitstaff wasn’t much better. Will not recommend this restaurant to any other friends visiting the city, there are so many better options!

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BC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great experience - but main room was so noisy that we had to change seats. Beautiful experience when seated upstairs or outside

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JJ
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Sadly, while the food stood up to the previous reviews, the exceptionally slow and rarely present service profoundly undercut the overall experience.

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EK
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's always a treat to dine at Foreign Cinema. The food is always super delicious and the atmosphere really unique. The servers are welcoming and on top of everything. I've eaten at this restaurant many times and never been disappointed.

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