Figuring out what to put on your podcast playlist can be tough — there are thousands of options across practically every subject in existence. If you’re having trouble narrowing it down, check out these local picks.
We vetted an array of Philly-produced series, hitting topics from food to sports to sex to local true crime. Pick your favorite and press play.
Hosts: Joy Manning, food and health writer, and Marisa McClellan, creator of Food in Jars
About: Manning and McClellan are close friends who dish on all things home cooking. In each episode, they share recent recipes they’ve made, like faux crab cakes made of artichoke hearts, and “pizza beans,” gigante beans smothered in tomato sauce and mozzarella. They also recommend products they love — cue a shout-out to Trader Joe’s Masala Veggie Burgers — and discuss tidbits of food news, like Gritty landing a star role in the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture ("which, I assume, is a tremendously meaningful thing for him,” Manning said).
Release schedule: Weekly on Wednesdays
Length: Around 30 minutes
Start with this one: Ragu, Pasta, & Dried Beans
Host: Timaree Schmit, sexuality educator
About: Hear from sex therapists, sex toy makers, trans activists, erotica authors, porn producers, gender studies professors, and more on this self-proclaimed “not safe for work” podcast. Sexuality educator Timaree Schmit, who has a Ph.D. in human sexuality, is the curator behind it all, interviewing a range of people whose jobs and/or lives all pertain to sexuality. It’s part of Schmit’s quest to expose listeners to rational, sex-positive, empirically based knowledge about sexuality. With the occasional live-recorded sex toy trial (ever heard of the Motorbunny?), the podcast is equal parts educational and entertaining.
Release schedule: Weekly
Length: 35 to 45 minutes
Start with this one: Rights for Trans Military & Veterans: A Conversation with Jay Potter
Host: Streets Dept founder and photographer Conrad Benner
About: Streets Dept is an extension of the blog of the same name, which documents and celebrates street art and murals across Philly’s public spaces. For the podcast, Conrad Benner sits down with both artists and locals across an array of fields — including Tunisian-French graffiti writer and muralist eL Seed (about his project in Philadelphia), Philly City Councilmember Helen Gym, and Blackstar Film Festival creator Maori Karmael Holmes — for wide-ranging conversations about creativity and how it shapes this city. In this latest season, the podcast went on a mini road trip, with interviews from Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.
Release schedule: Biweekly
Length: 40 to 90 minutes
Host: Ryan Rothstein of 97.3 ESPN, and Victor Williams and Steven Conrad Jr. of SportsTalkPhilly.com
About: As if the name didn’t give it away, The Philly Special covers all things Eagles-related. And when the Birds’ season nears its end, coverage shifts into heavy Sixers talk. Newly expanding from a duo to a trio, all three hosts have a background in sports media, and use their podcast to interview other sports writers, reporters, and the occasional athlete.
Release schedule: Weekly on Tuesdays
Length: 30 to 60 minutes
Start with this one: We Want Dallas
Host: Kevin Chemidlin, founder of podcast production company Cue9 Creative
About: From the Philadelphia Flyers Senior Director of Communications to the cofounder of Tony Luke’s to the founder of Mural Arts Philadelphia to the CEO of La Colombe, Philly Who tells the stories of prominent entrepreneurs, politicians, sports stars, and musicians who’ve all made a name for themselves here in Philadelphia. The success of the podcast helped host Kevin Chemidlin leave his own job (he used to be a software developer at an insurance company) to start a personal entrepreneurial venture: fittingly, a podcast production company.
Release schedule: Temporarily on hiatus; will continue weekly April 1
Length: 30 to 60 minutes
Start with this one: Sarah Schwab: The story of GRITTY!
Hosts: Quizmaster Johnny Goodtimes, hip hop artist and emcee Reef the Lost Cauze, and jawnville.com blogger “Violations” Greg Caputo
About: The Philly Blunt features interviews with some of the city’s most quirky and fascinating personalities, from a professional cuddler to a former cocaine kingpin to a prominent Ben Franklin reenactor. Guests pick their favorite bar, where they meet the hosts for a beer and share stories about their lives. Each episode ends with the “Philly Blunt,” when guests share random facts, like their favorite comedian or what they’d tell their 18-year-old self (“practice safe sex,” says Philadanco founder Joan Myers Brown, 88).
Release schedule: Biweekly
Length: 30 to 75 minutes
Start with this one: Joan Myers Brown: The Mother of Philadelphia Dance
Host: Author and public speaker Deana Marie
About: TwistedPhilly taps into some of the region’s most interesting, and often creepiest, tales across time. Host Deana Marie dives into stories of local true crime, paranormal happenings, and secrets that show just how mystifying and twisted the area’s history proves to be, such as a child abduction case that caused a town to cancel Halloween.
Release schedule: Biweekly (moving to weekly in spring)
Length: 25 to 70 minutes