Rachel Leyco


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Why do you love Richmond?

I love Richmond because it's perfectly placed on the map! It's about a two hour or so drive from the beach, mountains and DC. I was born and raised here so I've had the opportunity to watch RVA blossom into the thriving city it is now. I'm proud to call Richmond my home. It's a city filled with diversity, culture and a fast growing "local" philosophy. We support everything local! I eat at local restaurants, I drink local beer and cider, I buy local at my farmer's market or through a local business like Relay Foods. I also love the natural beauty of Richmond. The river is the main artery of RVA life and so happy that our culture is fast becoming outdoor oriented.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Richmond?

Eating, Drinking and Playing!

Eat! We have amazing local restaurants and many that embrace the farm to table philosophy. Drink! The amount of local breweries in and around the city are a craft beer lovers dream. Play! I LOVE the outdoor fun in the city. The large array of FREE festivals and events, going to the river, enjoying local parks, checking out art at the VMFA or street art.

What do you do here?

I'm a stay at home Mom during the day / Singer-Songwriter Musician by night

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Oooh that's hard! I have so many for so many different reasons. I'd have to ask what you're looking for - Best burger in town? Well that's Burger Bach. Best pasta? Mamma Zu. Best RVA gluten free/vegan options? The Daily. Best pizza? Mary Angela's. Best ambiance? Can Can. Best splurge? Acacia. Best brunch? Millie's.

What would you tell somebody who has never been to Richmond before?

I've told many of my friends and family who visit that I know RVA isn't what you immediately think of as the top travel destination but I promise once you experience the diverse culture in food, drink, history and the people that Richmond has to offer that it didn't once have - you'll be hooked! Richmond has become the "whole package". If you're a kid, a growing family, a young professional, a college student, enjoying retirement, whatever you may be and all of the above gay or straight… you'll love Richmond and Richmond will love you back.

What's your favorite store?

My son loves World of Mirth and I love Mongrel for various gifts and home goods.

How do you spend your free time?

I spend a lot of my time with my son and wife around our neighborhood. Walking to the park, our neighborhood pub O'Tooles, getting coffee and ice cream at Crossroads. We love to visit breweries, cideries and wineries in and around Charlottesville. We have a place in the North End of Virginia Beach that we frequent most often.

What's your favorite neighborhood?

Westover Hills/Forest HIll - So I may be biased because I live there but it is an all around amazing neighborhood. The close proximity to the river and Forest Hill park is a huge perk. I've spent time with wife and son walking to Maymont, playing at the playgrounds, going to the South of the James Farmer's Market, attending concerts and outdoor movies in the park. We love our neighbors because of the diversity - we live amongst old and young families, gay and straight, artists and working professionals. All supportive of one another!

How do you describe your community?

Supportive. I grew up in Richmond never thinking I could live such a happily ever after kind of life here with a wife and my child with families just like us.

I think our community is thriving and growing and becoming a city that fits everyone. There's a certain RVA culture that I've fallen in love with through the years. When I was growing up here I never wanted to stay but as I've seen the city evolve - it's where I want to raise my kid so he can love Richmond as much as I do.