Rock Steady – Atlanta Photos

Rock Steady is a modern Afro-Caribbean restaurant and bar located in West Midtown, Atlanta. Founded in 2019 by restaurateur Joe Russo and co-founder Jacob Thomas, Rock Steady focuses on contemporary renditions of traditional Haitian and Caribbean cuisine with West African influences.

The restaurant’s ambiance is intimate yet lively, described as having a “vacation vibe” with tropical decor. Rock Steady has garnered attention for bringing a unique and flavorful Caribbean dining experience to Atlanta, earning positive reviews for its food, drinks, service, and atmosphere.

History and Background

Joe Russo, co-founder of Rock Steady, lived in Jamaica for a time and developed an affinity for Caribbean culture and cuisine. His business partner Jacob Thomas also had a longstanding interest in the food and flavors of the region.

The two collaborated to open Rock Steady in November 2019 to showcase the core flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques found across the Caribbean islands and West Africa.

Russo brought industry experience from his family’s restaurant business, while Thomas drew inspiration from his Haitian roots and passion for travel. Together, they created a menu that intertwines traditional dishes with creative interpretations at Rock Steady.

The Restaurant Space and Design

Rock Steady is located at 907 Marietta Street NW in a converted railroad supply warehouse. The industrial space has been transformed into a lively and inviting restaurant through vibrant artwork, tropical plants, colorful textiles, and string lighting.

The main dining room has communal tables, a large central bar, and an open kitchen. An adjacent gallery room with garage doors hosts private events and overflow dining. The outdoor patio has seating and a mural celebrating Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods.

Menu and Cuisine

Caribbean and West African Influences

The Rock Steady menu focuses on the core ingredients, flavors, and techniques common across the Caribbean islands and West Africa. Expect dishes drawing influences from Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, and more.

Menu sections like “Likkle Bites” and “Big It Up Mains” nod to the region’s dialect. Dishes range from apps like callaloo dip and oxtail croquettes to entrees like escovitch snapper and curry goat.

Contemporary Adaptations

While Rock Steady pays homage to Caribbean traditions, the dishes also reflect contemporary adaptations. Starters like beef patties and wings are served with updated accents like mojo rojo sauce and pikliz. Mains put a modern spin on regional classics, evident in dishes like the shrimp étouffée grits.

The brunch menu also creatively riffs on mainstays like the peri chicken Benedict served with pickled peppers, arugula, and hollandaise.

Seasonal Specials and Sides

Rock Steady incorporates seasonal and locally sourced ingredients into regularly changing menu specials and sides. Expect to see seasonal salads, savory Brussels sprouts, sweet potato mash, and more making appearances throughout the year.

Bar and Cocktails

The Rock Steady bar program complements the cuisine with a lineup of signature tropical cocktails, many featuring Caribbean rums and liqueurs. The namesake Rock Steady cocktail riffs on a piña colada, while the Caribbean 69 combines gin, passionfruit, and dragonfruit.

The bar also serves African spirits like South Africa’s Bayab Gin and Vusa Vodka to offer guests a taste of the continent’s distilling culture. Non-alcoholic “mocktails” like the Good Enough give diners refreshing, fruit-forward options as well.

Reviews and Accolades

Rock Steady has earned positive reviews for its vibrant setting, gracious hospitality, rich flavors, and creative culinary perspective.

  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it a “flavor-filled culture trip,” praising diverse dishes like the oxtail fritters, curry goat, and shrimp étouffée.
  • Creative Loafing applauded the “jerk chicken sliders, brown stew oxtails, and curry goat,” as well as the “intimate atmosphere”.
  • Forbes highlighted menu items like the escovitch snapper and shrimp, noting influences from Jamaica to New Orleans.

In 2020, Rock Steady was named one of the best new restaurants in Atlanta by publications like Atlanta Magazine. It continues to earn recommendations as a top Black-owned restaurant and a destination for Caribbean cuisine.

Location, Hours, and Contact

Rock Steady is located at 907 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday – Thursday from 5 p.m. to 12/1 a.m., Friday – Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday brunch from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. plus dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.The phone number is (470) 788-8120. Visit the website for reservations and more information.


With its vibrant setting, gracious hospitality, and skillfully executed Caribbean flavors, Rock Steady offers a one-of-a-kind culinary experience in Atlanta. The restaurant encapsulates the sights, sounds, and tastes of the islands while putting its contemporary stamp through creative dishes and cocktails. Since opening in 2019, Rock Steady has fast become a destination for exceptional Afro-Caribbean cuisine in West Midtown.

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