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.

Up for a road trip? Check out the inaugural Lehigh Valley Podcast Festival, featuring live audience podcast recordings and popular hosts from across the region.

March 28, ArtsQuest Center, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem steelstacks.org

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).

“One of the saddest things about my marriage is that Scott isn’t interested in peanut-based sauces, and to me, there’s nothing as delicious as a peanut noodle.”
Co-host Marisa McClellan in episode #297

Release schedule: Weekly on Wednesdays

Length: Around 30 minutes

Start with this one: Ragu, Pasta, & Dried Beans

SEXUALITY: Sex with Timaree

Host: Timaree Schmit, sexuality educator

“I think I’ll never live down the nickname of the 'Hooker Laureate’ of the Dirtbag Left.”
Rachel Rabbit White, VICE sex columnist in episode #375

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

Host: Streets Dept founder and photographer Conrad Benner

“They want to put us all in this box and make us think that you have to be a doctor in order to live in America or be in tech or something, and those are cool and amazing jobs, too, but if you do feel like you have this pull towards doing a creative job or to be a painter or an artist, definitely go for it, and put your all into it.”
Philly-based illustrator Loveis Wise in season 2, episode #8

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

There are lots of Philly-made podcasts to try.
Cynthia Greer
There are lots of Philly-made podcasts to try.

Host: Ryan Rothstein of 97.3 ESPN, and Victor Williams and Steven Conrad Jr. of SportsTalkPhilly.com

“Ben Simmons continues to be dominant, I won’t accept any slander for Ben Simmons.”
Host Steven Conrad Jr. in season 3, episode #12

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

ENTREPRENEURIAL INSPO: Philly Who

Host: Kevin Chemidlin, founder of podcast production company Cue9 Creative

“I say this with every fiber of my being — creative and performing arts literally saved my life.”
Tony Luke, Jr., cofounder of Tony Luke’s cheesesteak franchise in episode 44

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!

QUIRKY JAWNS: The Philly Blunt

Hosts: Quizmaster Johnny Goodtimes, hip hop artist and emcee Reef the Lost Cauze, and jawnville.com blogger “Violations” Greg Caputo

“So if you have someone whose feet stink, their breath stinks, they have body odor, how do you deal with that in an intimate, 90-minute [professional cuddling] session?”
Host Greg Caputo in episode #38

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

LOCAL TRUE CRIME + HAUNTED HISTORY: Twisted Philly

Host: Author and public speaker Deana Marie

“Lizzie’s spirit never left that house on Lincoln road. The home she loved so very much. The home where she believed a beautiful future awaited her, but instead what awaited her was an untimely death.”
Host Deana Marie in episode #117

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

Start with this one: History Behind the Hauntings