Portillo’s to Open First Michigan Location in Sterling Heights

The Chicago-based restaurant chain is set to open its new location on March 16 in Sterling Heights. Get details about free swag and a copycat of the delish chocolate cake.

Southeast Michigan fans of the Chicago-based Portillo’s don’t need to hop the Amtrak to get their fix.

On March 16, 2021, this fast-casual diner will bring its signature menu of Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers and, of course, the famous chocolate cake to Sterling Heights. “We always look forward to opening Portillo’s in new markets,” Michael Osanloo, the CEO of Portillo’s said in a press release. “Fans in Michigan have been asking for a Portillo’s for years, so we’re very excited to bring our unrivaled Chicago street food and the signature Portillo’s experience to the community of Sterling Heights.”

The garage-style restaurant is set to open at 14425 Lakeside Circle, and will feature 7,900 square feet of décor including a fully-restored 1931 Ford Wrecker, double drive-thru lanes and an outdoor patio that will seat 50 guests.

In preparation for the grand opening, Portillo’s has designed a limited-edition T-shirt, which guests can receive by signing up for the Portillo’s Birthday Club, while supplies last. They may also get a taste of the eats this new location will have to offer by stopping by the Portillo’s Beef Bus, which began operating in Sterling Heights on Feb. 17, 2021, with face mask and social distancing policies.

Copycat Recipe: Portillo’s Chocolate Cake

One of the most beloved staples at Portillo’s — and a huge piece of the “Chicago experience” is the scrumptious chocolate cake.

While you’re hard-pressed to find the exact recipe of the cake, this copycat, which was adapted from Center Cut Cook and published by our sister magazine, Chicago Parent, comes pretty close.

Try it out at home and let us know what you think in the comments.


  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (Yes, really.)
  • 1-2 cans canned chocolate frosting (I use one and it’s perfect.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease two 9-inch round pans and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (preferably one for your mixer, though you can hand mix or use a hand mixer), combine cake mix, eggs, water, mayo.
  4. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then on high for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Split batter evenly between two pans, then bake for 30-32 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow cakes to rest in pan for five minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack for about an hour until fully and completely cooled.
  7. Place one cake onto a plate/cake stand and ice top with about 1/3-1/2 of the jar of icing.
  8. Place other cake on top, and ice the top and sides of the cake to your preference. Consume with trepidation and then unabashed delight, bordering on mania.

For more information on Portillo’s new Sterling Heights location, follow them on Facebook.

Follow Metro Parent on Instagram.


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