Entertaining

15 Podcasts We Can’t Stop Talking About (& Listening to Nonstop)

For your commute home to dinner, or as you make dinner. Or any time at all.

October 28, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

Everyone has a favorite time and place to listen to podcasts. Some tune in on long commutes home, others in lieu of bedtime stories as they fall asleep, still others when they’re prepping dinner. Mine has known to change from season to season, but my new favorite time to catch up on podcasts is at the gym.

Yes, I know, a long winding podcast about "The History of Human Emotions" as you breathlessly pound a treadmill doesn’t seem like the most natural fit. But I actually find it a great way to both distract the mind, and make an indoor workout that much more fun.

Just last week, I was tucking into yet another episode of Table Manners, and I was laughing so hard that not only was my mind engaged, I was also in a great mood! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a (very) British food podcast involving Jessie Ware (you may know her as a pop singer) and her mother Lennie entertaining guests like Nigella Lawson and Antoni Porowski, and ribbing them about their eating habits. Lennie is particularly hilarious—be prepared for lots of oversharing—as she dishes up a meal for their guests.

And just like we all have different times of day that we listen to our favorites, we also have completely different tastes in them. Here are the 15 really diverse podcasts we are can’t stop gabbing about at the Food52 HQ. They range from post-apocalyptic dramedy to (surprise, surprise) true crime. Check 'em out.

Here & Now

"I'm addicted to Here & Now from NPR. If I don't have time to read the news that day, it tells me what I need to know (while I'm walking to my train, no less). I love how it includes a range of segments, from politics and breaking news to pop culture and science." —Emma Laperruque, food writer and recipe developer

The Nod

“I love The Nod! It’s a podcast about Black culture hosted by longtime friends Brittany Luce and Eric Eddings that’s a really great mixture of storytelling, history, and comedy. One of my favorite episodes was a treatise on the influence of kung fu on Black popular culture, told in the style of a kung fu movie.”—Funmi Ojo, junior web developer

Invisibilia

"People are weird and fascinating, and I love studies into why they do the things they do. Invisibilia is all about that, the 'unseeable forces that control human behavior,' and I just keep getting sucked in. Plus, all the hosts are women, which I love."—Micki Balder, software engineer

Happier in Hollywood

"This is a spin-off series of the super popular Happier with Gretchen Rubin, in which Gretchen’s younger sister Elizabeth and her best friend Sarah go back and forth on the ups, the downs, and all-around messiness of writing a TV show in L.A. They dish out all sorts of witty life and career hacks, like “don’t take the meeting!” or “embrace your weird.” I have a spring in my step every Thursday morning because I know a new episode is waiting for me for my commute.”—Aja Aktay, home buyer

Spectacular Failures

“I think Spectacular Failures is the coolest podcast ever! I feel like we all know details of famous successes but rarely get an in-depth look at people’s downfalls. I loved the episode on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and more recently, the one on MoviePass (fans and haters should both tune in!).”—Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinator

Lesser Gods

Lesser Gods!!! I didn’t so much “listen” to this sci-fi post-apocalyptic dramedy as I did greedily binge it, ignoring anyone in my life who dared interrupt. My friend Colleen wrote and produced it, and I harass her regularly about when the next season is coming out."—Ella Quittner, writer and recipe developer

Hardcore History

"I’m obsessed with Hardcore History. (Have I turned into my dad?) Its host, Dan Carlin, is the suspiciously cool, gravelly-voiced history teacher we all wished we could’ve had. I particularly recommend the episode about Caesar’s various invasions of Gaul."—Max McDonough, social media coordinator

The Daily

"I listen to The Daily every single day on my commute to work. It's a dive into some of the most complex news stories affecting our times, and the quick yet thorough reporting they're able to accomplish in anywhere from 12 hours to a couple weeks is pretty astounding."—Brinda Ayer, books & special projects editor

On Being With Krista Tippett

"I’m never true to one (and only one) podcast for very long—which is why my app often probes: "Not interested any more?" every time I open a dusty icon. Nevertheless, I do love On Being with Krista Tippett in which she interviews a poet, artist, religious leader, or other influencer, and engages them in a dialogue that always ends up being as provocative as it is soothing (but that could also be her melodious voice). I also love Everything is Alive, which is a clever, if sometimes unnerving, imagined interview with an inanimate object. So far, "Maeve, the Lamppost," is my favorite."—Maggie Slover, senior copywriter

Liftoff

"Liftoff is a great show for all lovers of science and outer space. The hosts give a fortnightly update on everything that is going on in space exploration. It tickles my inner astronaut and helps me feel optimistic about the world.”—Jeremy Baker, principal software engineer

Be There in Five

"If you are interested in blog culture, Be There in Five is very interesting! The host Kate Kennedy did a four-part series on Mormon mommy blogger empires, which was fascinating."—Victoria Maynard, VP of finance

Crime Junkies

“Yes—Crime Junkies is yet another true crime podcast, but there’s something different about this one! The hosts are amazing storytellers and they stick to the story, which is usually quite terrifying—it’s truly addicting. Everyone I’ve recommended it to is hooked, so now I have a small group of fellow fans to freak out with.”—Kelly McPartland, senior growth marketing manager

Bonus: Dolly Parton's America

Pssst, everyone at the office been talking about Dolly Parton’s America that debuted on WNYC this month. We aren’t fully immersed as yet, but there’s a lot of buzz around it. Add it to the list.

Which podcasts are currently on your binge-list? Tell us in the comments below. We're all ears!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Katerina (Once a Foodie)
    Katerina (Once a Foodie)
  • DMStenlake
    DMStenlake
  • SophieL
    SophieL
  • Denise
    Denise
  • knittingrid
    knittingrid
Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.

23 Comments

Katerina (. December 30, 2019
Some great recommendations here! I love listening to podcasts on my way to work and back, it makes the drive a lot more interesting. I am loving Armchair Expert at the moment.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. December 30, 2019
I've heard good things about that one. I have a long flight ahead of me soon, I'll line it up for that! Thanks for the rec, Katerina.
 
DMStenlake November 29, 2019
Want to add Hollywood and Crime. Especially liked Black Dahlia on one road trip, we even slowed our speed so we could listen longer! LOL!
 
DMStenlake November 29, 2019
Phoebe Jdge’s “criminal” is very good. We listen on our road trips. Also, Sword and Scale (unsolved crimes) ! Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. December 30, 2019
I'll have to check out 'Criminal'! Thank you for that, and Happy New Year to you!
 
SophieL November 29, 2019
I hate, hate, hate exercising but now I have to as part of a cardio rehab regimen. What keeps me going are podcasts. My favorites are some mentioned here - The Daily, Invisibilia and Spectacular Failures, as well as On the Media, Splendid Table and Good Food. I'll be sure to check out the ones in this article - the more to keep me pedaling on the boring bike!
 
Author Comment
Arati M. November 29, 2019
I hear you, forced regimens can be dull! But check out the others and good luck!
 
DMStenlake November 29, 2019
Thanks for reminding me. I need to exercise, hate it too, but when listening to a podcast, time passes quickly on the elliptical! Keep it up.
 
Denise November 28, 2019
Check out “Restless Shores” - it’s a soap opera podcast and each episode is only 15 minutes. Story revolves around a pharmaceutical company and people associated with the family. Totally different than other podcasts and fun to follow.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. November 29, 2019
Thanks for this, Denise. I haven't actually ever tried a soda opera podcast, myself. I'll make sure to check this one out.
 
knittingrid November 25, 2019
You have to give "Ologies" a listen! Seriously, the two episodes on fear changed my life, and Ali Ward is warm, generous, funny, and just a little bit sweary.
 
janet V. November 25, 2019
Project Recovery. Personal stories of addiction and recovery. You don't have to be an addict, or know someone who is, to enjoy these raw portrayals of everyday people, their self-destruction and personal triumphs. It offers insight into human nature and relationships and I find myself gleaning warnings and tips that apply to many areas of my life. It is hosted by former radio show host and a psychologist who interact as friends as well as Dr. and patient.
 
Mdarlow November 24, 2019
The Tim Ferris podcast is always provocative, educational and riveting. He has increased my sense of curiosity 1000 fold.
 
sue November 24, 2019
Hardcore History rocks!! Have listened to many episodes. It's my family's go to for road trips!!
Try "Blueprint for Armageddon." Explains so much about whats happening in the world today. Oh, and his work on J. Edgar Hoover!
 
Mary G. November 24, 2019
Radiolab, How I built this, Modern Love, Fresh Air, plus a couple from the article. Love podcasts. Usually put one one at night while I drift off to sleep.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. November 29, 2019
I do, too. Except sometimes, when I wake up, I totally forget where I left off... and then it's back and forth until I remember!
 
svupsidedown November 24, 2019
Long Story Short, with Bobbi Brown. Incredibly smart woman interviewing very interesting people!
 
Ellen November 9, 2019
For fans of The Office, try The Office Ladies. It's hosted by Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela), who dissect and give inside tidbits on each episode. It makes me want to go back and watch each one again. Just get past the chit-chat at the beginning of the first episode, where they discuss their friendship at length, Very entertaining and includes interviews with other cast members and crew.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. November 29, 2019
I've heard good things about this one, Ellen. Must put it on the list!
 
Alamobecky October 29, 2019
Armchair Expert w/Dax Shepard. Just finished Dirty John ... oh, man, was I hooked on this one!
 
J October 28, 2019
Snap Judgement (keeps me sane when driving). New Yorker Fiction Podcast (older stories are much better, IMO but I love the dialogue between the reader and the New Yorker fiction editor). Nothing Much Happens (to help me fall asleep).
 
murphy2019 October 28, 2019
After their plagiarism scandal a few months ago I was definitely surprised to see Crime Junkie on this list..I definitely suggest checking out some of the (much better) podcasts they directly ripped off rather then supporting them....
 
DMStenlake November 29, 2019
And which ones would those be?