Papa Haydn has been a landmark in Portland’s dining scene for as long as I’ve lived here. Back in 2005, before the city’s dining scene really blew up, Papa Haydn’s was where us college kids insisted that our parents take us when they were in town for fine dining. According to their website, their east side restaurant is credited for bringing the first espresso machine to Portland back in 1978 — which is pretty crazy and quite an accomplishment, considering how much of a coffee town is today!

But I’ve always known that the restaurant was famed for their epic desserts, all of which are showcased in an inviting display at the front of the restaurant:

Although I hadn’t been to Papa Haydn’s in many years, Erlend and I recently had the opportunity for a meal there. Our meal started with some bread and compound herb butter:

Which were quickly followed by our entrees. Erlend had opted for a creamy truffle pasta filled with wild mushrooms, while I’d opted for some cheeseburgers and fries:

And then came my favorite part — dessert! Erlend opted for the marjolaine, which was sheets of toasted hazelnut meringue layered between chocolate mousse, hazelnut-praline cream, whipped crème fraîche and chocolate cream:

I opted for the chocolate truffle cake, which was a dense chocolate cake layered between dark, milk and white chocolate ganache and topped with fresh whipped cream and a generous portion of chocolate curls:

Learn More:

  • There are two Papa Haydn locations in Portland — a smaller one in Southeast, and the larger one in NW 23rd (which is the one I went to). Both are eligible for Portland Dining Month! What’s Portland Dining Month? In March, you get to experience 3 courses at over 90 local restaurants for just 29! It’s a great way of trying a bunch of places without breaking the bank. Papa Haydn West, which is where I went, offers an asparagus and egg appetizer, an entree of a chicken confit, and your choice of dessert from over 35 different desserts they offer. I highly recommend the chocolate truffle cake.