Here are some terrific films, TV shows, and documentaries about or featuring San Francisco that you can enjoy—along with some perfect local food pairings, if you happen to be close by.

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April 8, 2020

The San Francisco Dinner and A Movie Guide

San Francisco is a feast for the senses. There are still ways you can treat yourself to the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city while we shelter in place to #flattenthecurve. Here are some terrific films, TV shows, and documentaries about or featuring San Francisco that you can enjoy—along with some perfect local food pairings, if you happen to be close by.

"Ant-Man and the Wasp"

This isn't the first or only superhero movie to take place in San Francisco, but it's definitely one of the most memorable. Who could forget Paul Rudd's Ant-Man super-sizing himself to chase after a Blue & Gold Fleet ferry? Watch this action-packed favorite on Netflix with some take-out from Scoma's, a Fisherman's Wharf staple for generations. Their seafood is always fresh, and their cocktails can now be included with your order. If you're further away, get today's catch from your favorite seafood spot.

"Bullitt"

Who could forget "Bullitt"’s iconic car chase scenes showing off the beautiful vistas—and steep streets—of San Francisco? See this 1968 thriller on Amazon Prime Video for $2.99. Order in from North Beach's Tony’s Pizza Napoletana or any great pizza place near you to complete the experience.

Films with Pride

Celebrate Pride all year with these next three films. Local Oscar-winning filmmaker Rob Epstein directed both "The Times of Harvey Milk" and "Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt". You can find "Common Threads" for free on Kanopy and "The Times of Harvey Milk" on Amazon Prime Video for $2.99. Catch "Milk," the film by Gus Van Sant starring, Sean Penn (who won an Oscar for the title role) on Hulu. Pair these films with something sweet from Castro’s legendary Hot Cookie, or find some treats near you.

Speaking of Pride, we could not move on without singing the praises of two of the most iconic series from San Francisco, "Tales of the City" (1993) and "Tales of the City" (2019), both available on Netflix. Dive into the drama with the (bio)logical family on Barbary Lane while enjoying cocktails and yummy Oaxacan food from Mexcalito in Russian Hill, or your favorite local spot.

"Forever Chinatown"

Don’t miss "Forever Chinatown," a 32-minute documentary about a man losing his memory and creating sumptuous dioramas of his memories of San Francisco’s Chinatown. The film is available on Kanopy. Order delicious take out from Sam Wo Restaurant through Uber Eats to celebrate the great characters that make up the fabric of our city.

"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"

This recent release co-stars one of our hometown heroes, Danny Glover. Watch this sumptuously filmed indie on Kanopy for free and pick up the best biscuits and fried okra in town at Brenda’s Meat & Three, or your favorite soul food restaurant.

"The Parrots of Telegraph Hill"

Celebrate our gorgeous parrot population by watching "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill" on the free streaming service Kanopy, available from your local library. This beautiful love letter to those chatty, colorful birds would be even better paired with Pica Pica Maize Kitchen or great South American fare It's where our beloved birds originally came from, you know.

"Vertigo"

What could be better than watching Hitchcock’s "Vertigo" with a Mission Style Burrito? Hithcock’s masterpiece was filmed in the Mission Dolores graveyard. A hefty burrito is the perfect comfort food to get you through those beautifully tense scenes. Find the movie on Amazon Prime Video for a $3.99 rental and pair it with Tacolicious or any great Mexican takeout near you.

"Woman on the Run"

If you love film noir, try this 1950 caper. A man goes into hiding after witnessing a gangland execution. Police try to get his wife to confess his whereabouts, knowing his testimony could bring down a criminal kingpin. It's super suspenseful! Stream this gem on Kanopy and pair it with cocktails. If you don’t have all the fixin's you need, our own Whitechapel is preparing batches for pick-up!

"48 Hours"

One of the best scenes in "48 Hours," starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, takes place in the perfectly preserved Church Street Muni Station. The 1982 flick celebrates the great neighborhoods of San Francisco, including our world renown Chinatown. Pair "48 Hours" with great Chinese take-out or the very special China Live dumplings. Find this classic streaming on Hulu or Starz. 

And more...

We'll let you decide which items pair best with these other San Francisco classics:

  • "Always Be My Maybe" (Netflix)
  • "Dirty Harry" (Netflix)
  • "Full House" (Hulu) and "Fuller House" (Netflix)
  • "Hereafter" (Cinemax)
  • "Mrs. Doubtfire" (Hulu and HBO Go)
  • "So I Married An Axe Murderer" (Amazon Prime Video rental, $2.99)
  • "The Rock" (iTunes, $2.99)
  • "The Wedding Planner" (Hulu)

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