If your priority is an excellent selection and value of food and drink, then you can leave the heathens to their downtown dance clubs and spend the whole of your Montreal travels in the Plateau. The grid layout is easy to navigate, with Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis running parallel from northwest to southeast and, running perpendicularly to them are main routes like Mont-Royal Ouest and the graffiti-adorned Duluth Oest. Renowned dining institutions like La Banquise (for the delectable poutine), Schwartz's (smoked meat heaven) and vegetarian paradise Aux Vivres are particular highlights of the area. Gastropubs and hip cafe hangouts are also big in the area, providing excellent opportunities to sit down with a coffee or beer and enjoy wifi or conversation.
The best place to start for those unacquainted with the area would be the intersection of Saint-Laurent and Mont-Royal. Within a few blocks you'll encounter local favorites that define cool and provide excellent food and drink, including Laïka, Bílý Kůň, Café Sardine, The Sparrow, and Bar Plan B.