True Bistro in Somerville will close at the end of the month


The upscale, vegan restaurant is known for globally-inspired cuisine.

True Bistro
The modern vegan restaurant True Bistro is known for sophisticated fare. Photo by Russ Mezikofsky

If you’re a vegan diner, you may be disappointed to hear about the loss of one plant-based food establishment in Somerville this summer.

True Bistro, a restaurant serving upscale vegan dishes in Somerville’s Teele Square, will close on August 27, according to a Facebook post. They will serve weekend brunch for the last time on August 19 and 20. Opened in 2010 by co-owners Michael and Linda Harrison, along with co-owner and chef Stuart Reiter, True Bistro was launched with the vision of respecting the environment and animal welfare. Reiter said that reasons for the closure include the cost of labor, not reaching pre-pandemic sales levels, and increases in food prices.

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“It’s the reality of operating a restaurant in America these days,” Reiter said. “Every force is driving prices higher. It made it hard to turn a profit. We felt like we had increased prices on the menu as far as guests were willing to tolerate.”

Before opening True Bistro, the Harrisons had approached Reiter to collaborate because they shared a concern for the environment and its inhabitants. Reiter had worked at vegetarian and vegan restaurants like Greens and Millennium in San Francisco, and he traveled the world before coming to Boston. The three co-owners are committed vegans, Reiter said.

“We’re all very passionate about animal welfare. We all have rescue dogs,” he said. “That has always been our primary concern. Certainly, the secondary concern is doing right by the environment, which can be reflected by having a plant-based diet.” He added that True Bistro was meant to fill a void, “There was no opportunity to have a sit-down meal in a nicer setting for the vegan community in the Boston area.”

True Bistro has a small but dedicated following. Guests have always enjoyed the pasta, including dishes like the spinach ravioli with fava bean filling, according to Reiter. For dessert, the cashew cheesecakes, which have rotated through different flavors, are a specialty.

Last fall, the restaurant was voted by readers as a top dining spot that serves plant-based dishes. Reader Lilly from Somerville told us, “Something special about True Bistro is that there is a dish on the menu for everyone, whether you have been vegan for decades or are new to the idea of plant-based food.”

Tell us: Do you have a special memory of dining at True Bistro? What were some of your favorite dishes? Let us know what you’ll miss about the restaurant. Share with us in the survey below or e-mail us at [email protected], and your response may appear in an upcoming article.

Tell us: What’s a special memory that you have of True Bistro?

Originally posted 2023-08-09 19:59:26.