Aug 1, 2023 - Food and Drink

The Roosevelt chef Leah Branch on her best Richmond day ever

Leah Branch at The Roosevelt. Image: Courtsey of Todd Wright

Introducing our new feature, Best Day Ever, a series highlighting how awesome Richmonders spend their perfect day in the River City.

What's happening: First up, Leah Branch, executive chef of The Roosevelt in Church Hill.

After more than a decade in North Carolina, the Chesterfield native returned to town last year to take over the kitchen of the award-winning, 12-year-old restaurant.

Leah Branch. Image: Courtesy of John Murden

Here's Branch's best Richmond day ever:

🫖 Most mornings I get up, make some turmeric tea, then put my feet in the grass. I live next door to my parents, and if I’m early enough I can catch my Dad having coffee on the porch and hang out with him for a bit.

🍳 Breakfast: Buna Kurs has some beautiful Ethiopian breakfast food and coffee. The team loves to educate on their cuisine. The breakfast combo is a good place to start. If you go on Sundays, you can check out their traditional coffee ceremony.

🛍 Afternoon activity: I love walking downtown in Richmond. I usually stumble upon some place I hadn't noticed before. I will always pop into Rumors for some thrift shopping if I'm in the area.

  • One year when I lived at the beach and had to run back to Richmond for a hurricane, it was the first place I stopped before heading home. It's sort of my safe space now.
  • 🍦 Ruby Scoops has always got some epic ice cream flavor or another on the board. Last week, they were running an Ube, Hot Honey Cornbread and Duke's Mayo. Super cute spot to cool off and catch some positive vibes.

🥂 Lunch (and maybe some day drinking): I’d pop into Charlotte’s Southern Deli. I love the patio there, and the menu is full of solid soup and sandwich options. With a full bar at lunch! Make sure to grab some potato salad.

🥙 Dinner: For an early dinner, I love Penny's Wine Shop. The food is always perfect, and they'll set you up with the right wine for whatever you order.

  • But you should order everything. Especially the vegetable dishes. They're more magical than their descriptions indicate.

⛳️ Evening activity: I try to catch any shows I can at The National. The crowd energy there is strong, and they have a great lighting setup.

  • If that's not an option, a silly game of mini golf at Hotel Greene might be my last stop. It's basically golfing around an old hotel with cocktails.

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