Foreign Cinema in San Francisco is a beloved and iconic restaurant for a reason. A blend of film nostalgia, modern art, and good food all collide at the Mission district eatery. The restaurant is known for its secluded courtyard where its ever-changing film is projected, illuminated by warm string lights. The inside of the restaurant is equally stylish, but the outdoor seats are the coveted spot, even on gloomy San Francisco days.
The restaurant serves Mediterranean-Californian food along with a full oyster bar. You can find items such as duck breast, fried chicken, fresh chowder, and more. The films change approximately every three weeks, meaning each experience will feel different. Movies range from old-school classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes featuring silver screen queen Marilyn Monroe to romcoms perfect for Valentine’s Day like When Harry Met Sally, which is currently playing.
If you’re dying to try the food at Foreign Cinema, you can also go to Laszlo, the bar next door that serves the full restaurant menu.
The restaurant began 25 years ago in 1999, started by Gayle Pirie and John Clark. The pair have a long and successful history in the culinary world before partnering to create Foreign Cinema, working as line cooks at Zuni Cafe, among other ventures.
The restaurant partners with Martin Mueller, founder of the Modernism art gallery in San Francisco. Next to their outdoor patio, you can find a spacious display area featuring beautiful artwork from various modern artists. The space fits with Foreign Cinema’s dedication to creativity, inviting guests to soak in even more creative mediums while there.
Foreign Cinema is located at 2534 Mission Street and takes reservations 60 days in advance. The films begin at dusk, so make your reservation accordingly to catch the movie in time.