The Beautiful Bay Area has made a fabulous backdrop for some of the silver screen’s best (and probably worst) films. Here are our Top 10 Favorite Bay Area Spots Featured in Movies. Because if they filmed a movie there, it must be really good.

1. Fog City Diner

1300 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 982-2000

Featured in this scene in So I Married an Axe Murderer, this dining spot is a fun local fave. Get the fried green tomato sandwich and request the table from the movie.

2. City Club of San Francisco

155 Sansome, 10th floor, San Francisco, CA
(415) 362-2480

A private club, you’ll need to find a memeber or crash a wedding to work your way in and reenact the lunch scenes from The Game. Mondays feature “comfort food buffet”! And if you breach the club, make sure to note the Diego Rivera mural along the 10th Floor staircase.

3. Tosca

242 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA
(415) 986-9651

Location of a scene in Basic Instinct, you might actually see a star at this celebrity hangout in North Beach. Pretend you’re interested in the pool table and try the back room. Oscar-winners can be found hiding out back there with surprsing frequency.

4. Alcatraz

Pier 33, Hornblower Alcatraz Landing
San Francisco, CA
(415) 981-ROCK

The Rock, Murder in the First, So I Married an Axe Murder, Escape from Alcatraz…all filmed here! Hands down, the best tourist destination in the Bay Area, the audio tour is a must.

5. Bridges

44 Church Street, Danville, CA
(925) 820-7200

You’ll recognize this suburban spot from the big reveal scene in Mrs. Doubtfire. If you find yourself in Danville, this chic spot is a fun place to celebrate a special occasion. Try the ladylike Phyllo Wrapped Brie.

6. The Cheese Board

1504 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA
(510) 549-3183

Seen briefly in The Insider, you’ll want to hit this artisan bakery on Tuesday for the fabulous “Berkeley Buns.”

7. Waverly Place

San Francisco, CA

Chinatown has been featured in dozens of movies, but our favorite is the Joy Luck Club. For a stiff drink and kitchy ambiance, the best bar in the neighborhood is Li Po, 916 Grant Avenue, (415) 982-0072.

8. Mel’s Drive-In

Four locations in San Francisco, we recommend the Geary and Lombard spots

You probably know Mel’s from American Graffiti, but that drive-in has been tragically torn down. The vibe is alive, however, at the reincarnated versions, all over the state.

9. Mark Hopkins Hotel

1 Nob Hill
San Francisco, CA
(415) 392-3434

Made most famous in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, you’ll want to hit the dance floot at The Top of the Mark. Stiff drinks and incredible views make this old school spot the perfect place for a romantic rendexvous. Jazz is offered nightly although be warned: this tourist favorite has a cover charge.

10. Cable Cars

Locations and routes can be found HERE

Ding! Ding! If the movie (or television show for that matter) is supposed to take place in San Francisco, is HAS to have a cable car in it. Pretty Woman broke this rule. They’d planned to film in San Francisco, for the big date at the Opera, but the Loma Prieta Earthquake changed everyone’s plans. Thus, Pretty Woman is excused from the cable car rule.

Honorable Mention


Seen or mentioned in numerous San Francisco films, including Vertigo, Bullitt and Joy Luck Club, Ernie’s has closed. Which might explain any lull in local movie-making.

Since this IS San Francisco and we ARE talking about movies, get your fancy pants, local and organic popcorn at 479. Take the official SF movie tour. And whatever you do, stay away from the Rice-A-Roni. Share your favorite Bay Area Movie Spots on our Facebook Page.