The AJC’s Spring Dining Guide talks about the dining landscape now and in the months ahead. One of our favorite new restaurants is Chicken + Beer, which is from rapper-actor Ludacris. The two-piece Southern Fried Chicken is shown here with a molasses biscuit, and sides of corn edamame succotash and cheddar cheese grits. CONTRIBUTED BY CHUCKY KAHNG

Explore where to eat in Atlanta with AJC’s Spring Dining Guide

The onset of spring sure does put us in a happy mood. Warm weather means we can finally shed sweaters and jackets. The days are getting longer. Summertime, swimming pools and vacation are on the horizon. Food lovers start to do happy dances as the change in season brings a new round of fresh produce to the plate. Patios reopen and al fresco dining commences. There’s a lot to look forward to.

For this Spring Dining Guide, we share what excites us about the Atlanta dining landscape now and in the months ahead. There are plenty of restaurants we’re eager to see open. Some quirky trends (have you visited Atlanta’s first cat cafe lately?) are taking shape around town.

The current dining scene is buzzing with the new, the happening, the hip. But it is shaped and informed by what’s come before. So in this guide, we also take a look back. Over the course of the past year, dozens of restaurants unlocked doors. Which ones continue to impress us? You’ll find the answer in our Best New Restaurants list.

We also pay respect to time-tested restaurants. One year in business brings a sigh of relief to restaurateurs. Five years is a feat. At 10 years, it’s time to throw a big ol’ party. Read about our favorite restaurants that have been around a decade or longer and find out why we think they are still relevant today.

We hope this guide serves as a resource for you now and in the months ahead. Whether you’re in the mood for old or new, Atlanta abounds with impressive restaurants that will fill you up and put a smile on your face.

Photos: Best new restaurants in Atlanta

Photos: New dining trends to look for

Photos: Best time-tested restaurants in Atlanta

Atlanta classics: Restaurants that have stood the test of time

The ones to watch: The Atlanta food scene’s rising stars

The best reviewed restaurants of 2016 and 2017

The most anticipated restaurant openings of 2017

Atlanta’s best new restaurants

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