Foreign Cinema

(415) 648-7600 | View Website

2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA | Directions   94110

37.756454 -122.419006

Open Hours

Mon-Thu 6 pm-10pm

Fri 6 pm-11pm

Sat 11am-11pm

Sun 11am-10pm

Movie Theaters, Nightclubs, Lounges  more

More Categories: Taverns, Whiskey Bars, Wine Bars, Restaurants

Bar & Club Special Features: 21 & Over, DJ

Cuisine: New American, Californian, French, Mediterranean

Price: $$$

Tags: Bar Scene, Brunch, Celeb Hangout, Date Spot, Fireplace, Group Dining, Online Reservations, Outdoor Dining, People Watching

Payment Methods: American Express, MasterCard, Visa

Neighborhoods: Mission, Central East

Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema
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Reviews for Foreign Cinema


Foreign Cinema has been doing it all SO well for SO long, some people take it for granted. Not me! It somehow manages to be consistent AND surprising. From the food to the wine to the stunning space, FC deserves it's place in the San Francisco dining pantheon. Nothing beats a gorgeous sunny brunch outside, protected from the wind, or inside behind those huge windows. You'll never want to leave!


On warm nights, take in a film projected on the wall of their enclosed courtyard.

Foreign Cinema

A San Francisco institution for a reason, this place is amazeballs. It's got it all: fun atmosphere, fabulous food, potent drinks, and friendly staff. It's the perfect spot to bring out of town guests to.

over a year ago

Reminds us of why we love living in San Francisco – Foreign Cinema offers great food in an inspiring, yet unpretentious and fun setting.

Dining in the Mission is so unlike any other big city dining experience. Yes, people wear way too much black in this part of town, and as an unpierced, un-scarrified strait middle aged dude, I must admit, I am still amused and relieved to see in the Mission District that the current counter-culture continues to thrive in a city often thought of to have had its hey day in the 60's. Gotta love the Mission District! And that's why it is the perfect setting for Foreign Cinema. Here we are reminded, and in some ways re-enlightened as we re-discover that art, wine, cinema, more wine, a fine San Francisco evening, and creative cuisine is a perfect and most joyful combination.

Foregn Cinema always has a creative menu and a really fun wine list. and the waiter and maitre d are always happy to talk to you about them. The waiters are also cool when my wife and I explain to them we would like to order 6 dishes and just share all of them. Appetizers, salads, entrees, veggies, dessert, whatever -- just bring the dessert last. (Lots of places act as if that's some kind of imposition -- like we're revolutionares trying to pull something over on their established order of courses and condiments. "Warning! The deuce on table 17 is sharing a salad!!!) Not here, though. Here the waiter gets it. He sees we like to try lots of stuff, and that by eating like puppies off of the same plate and enjoying a meal over a couple of hours, my wife and I are actually enjoying ourselves. Of course, their nice wines by the glass list allows us to enjoy the meal even more with a different wine for each course!

Funny -- we love to sit outside so we can watch the movie, but the food is so good and engaging, we hardly ever pay attention to the movie!

uncleBad says that dining at Foreign Cinema is a San Francisco experiece that reminds us that this is indeed America's finest city for oh so many reasons.

over a year ago

Great Food, Ambience and Service! – This was one of my favorite casual dining experiences. We sat outside and saw part of the movie shown on the white brick wall - what a unique offering. It was a cold night, but the heaters kept us quite warm. I had to take my jacket off and the butter was melting on the butter plate. Cozy, but the only downside to that was it warmed the wine in my glass.

The food was incredible! Unlike another reviewer, the we found the pork chop to be thick, juicy and flavorful. It was served over a bed of fava bean ragout. We could watch the cooks shelling the fava beans through the window - what a job but highly appreciated.

Our server Eloise was very sweet and very knowledgeable about the wine list and the food preparation. I wish we visited the city more often to enjoy more experiences like this!

over a year ago

First time, will try again! – This is a trendy spot is located in Mission District. We were seated promptly, just a note, if you want to watch the movie make sure you ask for seating outside on the patio. Overall the portions were small but extremely tasty. The wine list had some great selections and the staff was helpful in that regard. I would give the service a C overall, our server had a bit of a stuffy attitude. The ambiance makes up for the average service and small portions. I will certainly dine there again and give it another try.

over a year ago

great brunch, but still left hungry – me and my girl went there for brunch, and were blown away by the food. a gourmet touch on everything, with a really cool atmosphere and original concept. the building itself was really hip and nicely modeled. but back to the food...every item we got was really tasty, and unique (home made pop tarts, fried eggs with balsamic..yum).

there was just one problem: we got appetizer, mains and desert (yeah for brunch, what's wrong with that?!) but left hungry. not that i wanted a ihop stuff-fest, but with the cost for brunch i was a bit disappointed. too bad because i'd like to have an 'every weekend' brunch place rather than a 'nice to go when friends/family are in town' place.

Doesn't Recommend
over a year ago

Disappointing – It was a tuesday night and my friend and I went together. We selected the seating outside.

Pro: Ambience, very romantic

Con: The seating outside was cold even though i sat right under the heat lamps.

Appetizer: calamari is fresh and bouyant in a sea of tomato and garlic. Too much garlic for my taste

sardines were in a small plate. I am asian so it tasted like salty fish and i did not enjoy this dish.

Main dish: Salmon is tender and good and it was on top of this vegetable and bean salad. i only enjoyed the salmon and beans everything else on the plate was unedible.

Pork tenderloin: the pork was chewy and very dry with couscus and sweet tangy beets. This dish was the worst dish of the night. It was horrible, very sweet it can be dessert

Dessert: garnita and for people who don't know what this is, its just crushed ice with syrup (think icy) in a margarita glass with a flower. I think presentation was the main reason that this dish cost so much because the dish does not worth $7. it was too sweet and for god sake its just ice!!

creme bruelle (forgot how to spell) but this was good. I think this was the high light of the night because it was smooth.

Overall I would not go back to Foreign Cinema because it was a huge disappointment!

over a year ago

Great atmosphere, even better food. – Before my most recent outing to Foreign Cinema it must have been over a year. While the service and food was pretty good then, this visit absolutely blew me away. I came in through the beautiful hallway to see the place PACKED. Despite the noise, crowds, and general anarchy I got smiles from several of the very good looking servers as they politley let me pass.

We were told there would be a wait and our table was running behind so we had some great drinks at the bar. Then a youngish, charming manager introduced himself and explained it wouldn't be much longer and bought us a round of drinks while we people-watched.

The carpaccio appetizer we had was amazing and the oysters were great. We wanted to order some wine and like clockwork the same manager appeared and asked how we were. He even remembered our names! He recommended a bottle in a fresh, unpretentious way and made us feel like family guiding us through their large, daunting wine list. The beef AND the pork simply knocked our socks off.

If you want the best people watching in town and really appreciate good food and wine, don't miss this place.

over a year ago

Great food and service, nice atmosphere – We arrived too early for dinner to see the movie. In the Spring/Summer months, the movie doesn't start until 8:30pm. "Fiddler On The Roof" was the movie scheduled to play the evening we arrived for dinner. It was a cold, drizzly day, so we opted to eat inside. The interior dining room has a high ceiling with fireplace. There's an adjacent bar which was crowded by 8pm. The raw oysters were really good and the foie gras was tender. I especially enjoyed my Petrale Sole, it was tender and tasty, not fishy at all. The duck was a bit chewy but the grilled quail served with it received rave reviews from everyone at the table. My strawberry crepes was mushy and I wouldn't recommend ordering it. My friend had the bloody orange and mango granita, which was delicious. The peach cobbler was good too. Our wait staff was friendly and our water glasses were kept filled. The food here doesn't disappoint.

over a year ago

Excelent Date Place! – Well I was looking for a nice dinner place in the city where I can take my loved one, and I saw the reviews about Foreign Cinema. I thought I'll give it a try and I called in and made reservations.

I was a bit skeptic about the place knowing that Mission area is not really the cleanest and nicest area of San Francisco, but once I got to it, I saw that I could have not been more wrong.

The setup is quite nice with half of seating inside by the big fireplace and half outside on the patio were the movie is being projected. Almost every table had its own heater so it was quite comfortable seating out. The tables were clean and the candle light in the dim exterior added an extra romance in the air.

The staff was really pleasing and accommodating.

The food was excellent. We started out the dinner with warm olives and the cheese and vegetables appetizers, which were quite nice. After that we had a serving of their asparagus soup which was quite tasty and light, and for the main course we got the Halibut and Steak. The fish was cooked perfectly well and steak was great too. I liked the onion jam and the butter topping on the steak.

Even after we were done with the dinner we just set there and talked and hold hands. Although it was almost closing time for the restaurant, no one rushed us to get up.

I would really recommend this place to all my friends, and I would gladly come back for dinner.

over a year ago

Service extrodinaire... delicious food & great wine – Loved the atmostphere, oysters, food, wine and service was fabulous! But I have the say... the service was the best I've ever had in the City... the wait staff works together to keeps water glasses full and patrons happy. And the food was amazing. And who doesn't love the fact that they project old movies on the building outside... how fun! :)

over a year ago

My favorite restaurant in SF – I love everything about this place. Their homemade foie gras pate is the best ever!!!! Also I really enjoy the ambiance... Great for a group or for a date night.

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Foreign Cinema

Brunch in San Francisco: It\u2019s what we DO. In San Francisco, as elsewhere, brunch is the most important meal of the day. It\u2019s practically our…
San Francisco Al Fresco Where to dine and drink when it\'s actually warm enough to be outside. (And I\'m talking patios and…
71% 100 106 92 Votes

Best of Citysearch

Won for:
Brunch (2013)
Date Spot (2011)
Fireside Dining (2009)
Outdoor Dining (2009)
Outdoor Dining (2007)
Outdoor Dining (2006)
Nominations Nominated for:
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