1 Girl, 4 Looks: Chicago's Most Fashionable Foodie

Chicago has no shortage of foodies, but we met one who seriously stands out. Enter Heather Sperling, of Tasting Table, a spot-on source for all things yummy in Chi. As if that wasn't enough cool calories for one gal, you might also recognize Heather running the show at Dose, the monthly food and fashion market we can't get enough of. Recently, we shared a charmed moment with Heather in her Bucktown home and chatted her up on why she loves her wardrobe and how she finds sartorial inspiration in our frosty city (of course, we snuck some grub-related gossip in there, too). Check out four looks that prove freezing and chic aren't mutually exclusive. And then take a gander at your own closet with fresh eyes. Heather's feminine (but not too girly) ensembles are easier to copy than you think!
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Who or what has influenced your personal style the most?
"Relics from the past (I absolutely love vintage), along with traveling–pieces I've picked up and styles I've seen. And, of course, The Sartorialist. That man has such a good eye."

On Heather: Daughters of the Liberation plaid jacket, American Apparel scoop-back dress, BCBG gold silk skirt, Elise Bergman leather belt, Madewell Prairie boot.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What is one must-try restaurant that you recommend to Chicago visitors?
"The Publican. It's solid all day long, from brunch to the afternoon snack menu to dinner. It has a deserved reputation for being meaty, but also has some of the most creative seafood dishes in the city and a great oyster list."

Heather's vintage Coach purse was purchased at Vintage Smith.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What beauty secrets/tricks do you follow without fail?
"There are a few things I could live without, but wouldn't want to: a Clarisonic face brush, Moroccan Oil curl defining cream, a 1.5-inch barrel curling iron, Fresh Sugar Rosé lip treatment, and Lancome New Black and Designer metallic eye shadows, which I use as eyeliner. Dip a thin, flat brush into water and then draw on a thick line of the shadow; it pops, even from behind glasses."

Heather's vintage coin necklace belonged to her grandmother.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What is the best meal you've had in Chicago under $15?
"The Bento Box, a miniscule Bucktown BYOB, is utterly under-the-radar and can be fantastic (the bento are usually under $15). I love going up to Devon Avenue and getting chaat and a mango lassi from Uru-Swati. If you're up for a trek, the birria (with consommé) from Birrieria Zaragoza is superb. Crispy on choy and chive dumplings from TAC Quick Thai are a wee bit over $15–but worth it."

On Heather: H&M mesh dress, Vintage boy's navy blazer, DKNY ribbed metallic bronze tights, Paul Smith Izabel ankle boots, Marc Jacobs bronze plastic ring.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What is the most unexpected meal you've had in Chicago?
"I've been eating through Chicago since 2006 (even before I lived here, I came here frequently to eat for work), and there have been dozens of both. The best recent surprise was a refined and well-edited meal at Goosefoot, the ambitious new Lincoln Square BYOB from Chris Nugent, the former chef of Les Nomades. Often when a chef first strikes out on his own, he goes a bit wild–too many ingredients on a plate, too many directions–but not here. Not everything was perfect, but I was impressed by the balance and execution of most dishes."


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What item from your closet do you wear the most?
"I can't get away from the vintage kimono jacket I scored at Dose (over skinny jeans, wide-leg jeans, short dresses and tunics). For fancier events, from dinner to black-tie galas, it's the Elise Bergman Auralee dress, which can be wrapped over a dozen ways."

On Heather: JCrew green silk top, vintage silk kimono jacket, Levi's jeans BCBG ballet flats.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What is your idea of the perfect foodie date night in Chicago?
"The upstairs dining room of Maude's Liquor Bar is one of my go-tos. It has my three favorite things for a date: low lighting, Champagne and a solid plateaux de fruits de mer. For a progressive date, Logan Square is the spot. Start with cocktails and a few small, Japanese-inspired bites at Yusho, walk to Telegraph for creative, seasonal plates and a great by-the-glass wine list, and finish with tea and dessert in Lula Cafe's stylish new bar room."

Heather's (totally affordable!) bow clip is available at Cynthia Rowley.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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Would you consider anything in your closet a prized possession?
"Yes! Neon-green Jimmy Choos that look like psychedelic butterflies, a cropped leopard jacket that belonged to my grandmother's best friend, a crazy patterned suede jacket that my mom purchased when we lived in India, and a handful of vintage purses, brooches and necklaces passed down from my grandmother."

Heather's necklaces: Elise Bergman knotted chain necklace, vintage brooch from her grandmother on a vintage chain.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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What are your favorite stores in Chicago?
"For clothes and accessories, Roslyn, Robin Richman, Trillium, and Penelope's. For antiques, I never leave Hoard without something great, and Architectural Artifacts is stunning. Haymaker Shop in Andersonville has a fantastic selection of homewares. Post 27 covers it all–clothing, accessories, furniture and design."

On Heather: Bodkin orange linen top, BCBG grey skirt, Sigerson Morrison patent heels, Mineralogy necklace.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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Read up on all things delicious (according to Heather!) at Tasting Table Chicago.


Photographed by Heather Talbert.
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