Choosing restaurants in Montreal is a breeze. The most obvious method is to drop in to those that appear to cater to a local crowd and not just tourists! An easier method to choose your perfect dining spot is to follow my suggestions so you can reserve ahead, especially on weekends. Standards are generally quite high in Montreal restaurants and prices reasonable. Like most places, lunch is often the better deal.
Don't overlook local hotel restaurants especially if you hear a lot of French - because who knows food better? Consider restaurants a bit off the beaten tourist track too like those in East Montreal, The Village or newer hotspots like Griffentown and the Pointe St. Charles neighborhoods on the western edge of the city.
Quality restaurants with multiple locations like Premiere Moisson and L'Academie are not really chains and should not be regarded as such. Some of the fussiest palates on the planet live in Montreal making it almost impossible to get a bad meal here as Quebec in general and Montreal in particular reject large, international chain restaurants. Dining in Montreal is all about authenticity, quality and enjoying the dining experience. Montreal restaurants therefore become a tourist attraction in themselves.