My husband and I will be in Portland for one day/night in July. We are staying at the Nines in downtown. We are looking for a few local breweries and restaurants focused on Pacific Northwest cuisine. NO tourist traps... thinking more on the lines of small, neighborhood places with personality. Looking forward to exploring!
Other than PF Chang's, Chart House, Jake's, McCormick & Schmick's (the chain started here), Newport Bay, the food at Portland Saturday Market, and nearly every Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, there are very few places I'd call a tourist trap.
Here are several useful threads that many of us have weighed in on recently.
Many of them are responses to visitors' inquiries and their reports based on our advice.
Had lunch today at Pok Pok and dinner at Ping. Both were outstanding. At Pok Pok I had the half gamehen with sauces and the Khao Man Som Tam with sticky rice. The bird was moist with crispy skin and the pork dish with salad was great. Quite different from the usual Thai offerings. At Ping,I had the Lamb skewers, spring rolls and Yam MaMa and all were excellent.
The transportation system in Portland is excellent and FREE in the Downtown and Lloyd Center areas, so there is no excuse to worry about traveling to various sites around the downtown area. Also nice if you partake of the liquid refreshments....
For Breweries, definitely hit Deschutes Brewing and Bridgeport Brewing - both in the Pearl District. Good food and Beer. New Old Lompac on NW 23rd is also good. Very Portland with an ecclectic crowd.