Green Leaf Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant featured in Metrowest Daily News

bala shanmugam

Turning over a new Green Leaf

Originally posted in the MetroWest Daily News on Jan. 19, 2015 at 12:01 AM
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Those who think that vegetarian and vegan cuisine is limited because of its culinary abstentions, such as no meat products, should check out the menu of Green Leaf. The variety, not to mention the creativity on display at this Framingham restaurant, should impress any foodie.

Soups feature French lentil (cup, $4.50, bowl $5.50), arame and pinto bean and the soup of the day. All the soups are vegan and gluten-free, and served with locally made Iggy’s bread.

The menu also showcases nine different salads, including sesame and cilantro rice vermicelli ($8.50). Appetizers also number nine and include artichoke stuffed mushrooms ($8.99).

Lunch entrees number nine as well and include a grilled yucca quesadilla ($10), served with a choice of house salad, sweet potato fries or corn chips. Gluten-free bread can be substituted on any sandwich or burger for 75 cents extra. The burger, by the way, is made from beets.

Dinner entrees number lucky 13 and include a hefty-sized potato leek pizza ($12.50) that’s easily big enough for two. The pizzas are available gluten-free for $3 extra and can also be made with vegan cheese for $2 extra.

Brunch, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, offers 18 choices, including cinnamon walnut fig waffles ($9). Side dishes number 19 and include organic millet tabouleh ($2).

The price range for salads is $7 to $9, appetizers $6.50 to $9.50, lunch entrees $8.50 to $12, dinner entrees $10 to $15.99 and brunch $7.50 to $9.50.

There’s also a children’s menu, beverages, including fresh juices and smoothies, and homemade vegan desserts.

The chef cooking up all these dishes is Bala Shanmugam, formerly of Red Lentil in Watertown, who co-owns Green Leaf with Gopal Krishanasmy, who also owns Dosa Temple in Ashland. The restaurant celebrates its first anniversary this month.

A Framingham resident, Shanmugam recently discussed Green Leaf with Daily News staff Bob Tremblay.

QUESTION: How did you come up with the name?

ANSWER: I believe the name Green Leaf goes well with the concept of health, and green leaves are a sign of healthy foods.

Q: Why did you open this restaurant?

A: We started the restaurant because we wanted to create something to show that everyone can enjoy and benefit from healthy food, which meant making alternative choices that also taste delicious.

Q: Describe the cuisine.

A: The cuisine has an international flare mixed with vegan and vegetarianism.

Q: What makes you different from the competition?

A: There is no competition in this area. New guests come in all the time interested in eating healthier and having vegetable-enriched dishes. We just want to serve healthy and good-tasting food to the public.

Q: Do you have liquor license?

A: We do not serve alcohol at this time, but it is a definite possibility for the future.

Q: What is your background?

A: I grew up in southern India where, as a chef, I specialized in baking and confectionery dishes.

Q: How big is the restaurant?

A: It has 2,000-by-250 square feet and seats 62 people maximum.

Q: Describe the interior.

A: Green Leaf’s atmosphere is bright and inviting, representing a sunny day that will provide bountiful fruits and greens.

Q: What are the hours of operation?

A: They are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and for brunch 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening is open for dinner from 5 to 10 while Sunday evening is open for dinner from 5 to 9:30.

Q: What is your signature dish? And what are your most popular dishes?

A: My signature dish is the Gobi Manchurian appetizer – chickpea flour-battered cauliflower, fried and then tossed in a spicy and sweet tomato sauce with sautéed peppers and onions, and topped with cilantro, for $9. The most popular dishes are the vegan and gluten-free enchiladas and the potato leek pizza – red bliss potatoes, grilled leeks, goat cheese, caramelized onions and mozzarella on a grilled thin crust, drizzled with basil pesto.

Green Leaf Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants is at 665 Cochituate Road (Rte. 30, across from the Red Roof Inn), Framingham. Its website is

2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

vegetarian vegan gluten free



FRAMINGHAM, MA – 25 May, 2016 Green Leaf Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.


“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travelers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”


The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.




Green Leaf Veg Restaurant

  • Specialty: vegetarian and vegan fare, fresh juices, smoothies
  • Decor: cheery orange and green walls, garden-inspired artwork, casual kid-friendly ambience
  • Menus: brunch, lunch, and dinner
  • Hearty dish with a garden-fresh bounce: butternut kale lasagna with organic tofu and melted Daiya cheese
  • Dish to share on a meat-free date: porcini-crusted tofu with caramelized beets and shallot gravy
  • For the kids: soy chick’n strips with BBQ sauce and sweet potato fries
  • Wash it all down with: tropical dream smoothie with coconut milk, banana, maple syrup, and mango



About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site**, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors***, and 350 million reviews and opinions covering 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.


TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:,,,,,, (including,,, and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and


**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, February 2016

***Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2016


Green Leaf named Top Local Eats by The Culture Trip

© Lisa Kelly, The Vegan Pact

The Culture Trip

Not every town can say they have an acclaimed restaurant whose menu is entirely vegan and vegetarian. Framingham, however, can boast this claim thanks to the amazing Green Leaf Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant. From light lunch fare to brunch and multiethnic cuisine, you can expect each dish to be filled with fresh herbs and spices, making them burst with flavor. There are also gluten-free menu items that feature alternative grains like millet. Green Leaf offers a myriad of tasty and creative drinks and desserts. Finish your meal with a vegan and gluten-free no-bake pie, or a chocolate mousse made with avocado as a base.

Framingham’s 10 Best Restaurants, Massachusetts’ Top Local Eats

Cashew polenta at Green Leaf in Framingham

cashew polenta


Butternut squash gravy adds color and flavor to this vegetarian entree.

By Ellen Bhang | November 02, 2014

It’s no easy feat to please patrons who range from lifelong vegetarians to occasional forgoers of meat to committed vegans. Under chef Bala Shanmugam, formerly of Red Lentil in Watertown, Green Leaf in Framingham is trying to meet that challenge. Cashew polenta, one of the winning entrees on Green Leaf’s menu, employs a silky butternut squash sauce to dress up toothsome cornmeal cakes studded with tender cashew pieces and adorned with sauteed spinach.

GREEN LEAF 665 Cochituate Road, Framingham, 508-309-3009,

At Green Leaf, vegans and vegetarians rejoice

From left, Bala Shanmugam, Gopal Krishnasamy, and Liz Whitaker.

Cheap Eats
By Ellen Bhang | Globe Correspondent February 25, 2014

It’s no easy feat to please opinionated patrons who range from lifelong vegetarians to occasional forgoers of meat to committed vegans. The team of chef Bala Shanmugam, formerly of Red Lentil in Watertown, business partner Gopal Krishnasamy, owner of Dosa Temple in Ashland, and Liz Whitaker, another Red Lentil alum, are trying to meet that challenge at Green Leaf in Framingham.

The space, painted vibrant green with prints of global market scenes on the walls, looks updated from its former incarnation as assemble-your-own-omelet spot Eggcetera, Etc. Among our group popping in for Sunday brunch are a vegan and a self-described “flexitarian/mostly vegetarian.” The dining room is only half full, but we have to wait for someone to greet us at the door.

Cinnamon-walnut fig waffles ($8) offer everything you could want from this breakfast favorite — crispy edges and fluffy interiors, with dried Mission figs, softened in real maple syrup, topping each golden piece. These are vegan (also available gluten-free on request), and offer the same texture as a version made with eggs and milk.

An oyster-tofu scramble ($8.50) features oyster mushrooms, caramelized onions, and tiny cubes of pressed tofu. It needs more salt and a moister bean curd. Huevos rancheros ($9) — two sunny-side-up eggs on soft corn tortillas, topped with a garlicky green cilantro salsa and two creamy slices of avocado – are very appealing, especially with a splash of hot sauce.

Smoothies are everything they should be, especially a magenta-hued mango berry blast ($5) that tastes like all of its constituent fruits. Green lemonade ($6), with freshly pressed apple, cucumber, kale, and lemon, is refreshingly vegetal and not too sweet.

At Green Leaf, vegans and vegetarians rejoice
By Ellen Bhang | Globe Correspondent February 25, 2014

It’s no easy feat to please opinionated patrons who range from lifelong vegetarians to occasional forgoers of meat to committed vegans. The team of chef Bala Shanmugam, formerly of Red Lentil in Watertown, business partner Gopal Krishnasamy, owner of Dosa Temple in Ashland, and Liz Whitaker, another Red Lentil alum, are trying to meet that challenge at Green Leaf in Framingham.

…Read full review

The Vegan Pact Restaurant Review: Green Leaf

© Lisa Kelly, The Vegan Pact

The Vegan Pact Restaurant Review: Green Leaf
The Vegan Pact | March 6 2014

Today, the ever evolving vegan community in Massachusetts is thriving. The options still pale in comparison to it’s carnivorous counterparts, but it seems like every month I hear mumblings of new plant-based eateries opening.

And the newest kid on the block is….Green Leaf in Framingham!

So lucky me, whenever I do some retail therapy at the Natick mall or visit my friends at my old corporate office now, I can hit up this fabulous new vegan spot and treat myself to a great meal.

…Read full review

Vegan Pampering To Prepare For Travels

boston vegan restaurant

VeganWorldTrekker | January 29 2013

The Green Leaf Restaurant (Green Leaf Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant) in Framingham, MA offers a nice variety of meal options, snacks, desserts, and raw juices. Since my spa visits helped me to prepare for upcoming travels, the best option for brunch would be an international, ethnic meal. My upcoming vacation is at a European destination, so my brunch choice would obviously be a European meal favorite. I dined on a Mediterranean vegan omelette, with a side of home fries. Dessert was a vegan French Creme Brulee. My beverage was a raw juice containing greens, and fruit. The meal was scrumptious!

Read full story at VeganWorldTrekker | January 29 2013