You listen to The Daily religiously and you’ve blown through every true-crime podcast faster than you can say, “Robert Durst killed Susan Berman.” If you’re in the market for some lighter listening fare, consider checking out one of these 14 fabulous food podcasts. Covering Michelin-starred restaurants and home chefs making Southern staples and Native American classics, these pods will have you pining for your next meal—and episode.
1. ‘Home Cooking’
In this brand-new, four-part podcast, Samin Nosrat (of Salt Fat Acid Heat fame) teams up with musician and podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway to answer questions about what to cook at home during the quarantine while providing entertaining and uplifting conversation. Each Home Cooking episode features quarantine cooking questions, stories and anxieties from listeners (which can be shared by sending a voice memo to email@example.com or by calling 201-241-COOK), plus a celebrity guest and a loose ingredient theme.
2. ‘The Sporkful’
Hosted by Dan Cashman, this pod bills itself as being not for foodies, but “for EATERS.” (Emphasis theirs.) Launched in 2010, this weekly James Beard and Webby Award–winning program uses humor and humanity to approach food from every angle—science, history, identity, economics and more. Expect conversations with guests like Marc Maron and Fortune Feimster about the best way to layer peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich and whether sparkling water is actually water.
3. ‘Toasted Sister’
Andi Murphy is a Navajo woman living in Albuquerque. She’s a full-time radio producer for Native America Calling, a national live call-in show about Native issues and topics. She’s also the host of Toasted Sister, a podcast on which she talks to Native chefs and foodies about what indigenous cuisine is, where it comes from and where it’s headed.
4. ‘Inside Trader Joe’s’
You know and love Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer (and you definitely don’t read it cover to cover religiously every Sunday morning). But TJ’s also produces a podcast, called Inside Trader Joe’s. Each episode looks at a different aspect of the beloved supermarket chain, like how they maintain such friendly customer service or how they source their global products. One of our favorite episodes is all about the store’s wine and cheese. (Shocker: Did you know they sell more pounds of French Brie than any other U.S. retailer?!)
While some food podcasts cover the James Beard and Michelin winners of the world, Doughboys, hosted by comedians Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger, is a bit more accessible. As in, it’s an entire podcast devoted to chain restaurants. On each episode, Mitchell and Wiger, plus an equally funny guest (recent examples include Nicole Byer and Paul F. Tompkins), review fast food and sit-down chains, from Canadian burger and root beer institution A&W to Wisconsin burger and shake chain Culver’s.
6. ‘House of Carbs’
Produced by sports and pop culture site The Ringer, House of Carbs sees host Joe House conversing with fine diners and fast foodies alike to discuss the food universe at large. Think at-home cooking with Bon Appétit’s Adam Rapoport and unfancy dining with Alison Roman.
7. ‘Racist Sandwich’
Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamed host one of the most fascinating takes on food culture being recorded today. Racist Sandwich takes a deep and nonbinary dive into the politics and history of food, and how words and titles are used to keep cultures marginalized. All of this is filtered through a bit of humor and the hosts’ experiences in and around pro kitchens and the world of food writing.
8. ‘Eaters Digest’
From food site Eater and the Vox Media Podcast Network comes a weekly show covering everything you need to know about the world of food. Hosts Amanda Kludt and Daniel Geneen bring you the wildest, most important stories from restaurants and kitchens around the world, from how childcare can change the restaurant industry to the worst things New York diners do in restaurants.
9. ‘I’ll Drink to That’
You know what goes well with food (and food podcasts)? Wine (and wine podcasts). Hosted by former sommelier Levi Dalton, I’ll Drink to That is about all things vino. During each episode, Dalton interviews wine personalities from around the world about their lives and their work. Recent episodes feature conversations with Jason Lett, co-owner of the Eyrie Vineyards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and Christophe Roumier, whose family-run Domaine Georges Roumier vineyard is located in the Burgundy village of Chambolle-Musigny in France.
In this five-year-old show, cohosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley investigate the history and science behind different food and farming-related topics, from aquaculture and ancient feasts to microbes and Malbec. They interview experts, visit labs, fields and archaeological digs, and clearly have a blast while discovering new ways to understand the world through food.
11. ‘Spilled Milk’
On this weekly podcast (billed as “a comedy show about food”), writers and comedians Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton take a food-related topic—like Milano cookies or tonkatsu—and run with it. When we say “run with it,” this is the description for an episode on shrimp cocktail: “Today we discuss our future retirement community orgy plan, Fanny Cradock’s downfall and The Prawn Cocktail Offensive. Then we decide who gets to be the Cook of the Realm and who gets to be the hen-pecked husband. Rated NFJ.”
12. ‘Burnt Toast’
In each episode of Food52’s podcast, host Michael Harlan Turkell explores a different aspect of food culture and community, highlighting the often-surprising past that informs what we eat every day, and meeting some of the people shaping food’s present and future. Heads up that there aren’t any new installments of this guy, but there are 74 episodes to listen to and drool over.
Started by the Southern Foodways Alliance, Gravy explores past and present Southern food, taking an in-depth look into the people growing, cooking and eating food around the South. Episode subjects include harassment in the service industry, a taste of Dollywood and the Wetzel County Ham, Bacon and Egg show.
14. ‘Meat + Three’
If you’re looking for a quick food podcast fix, Meat + Three is a weekly, 15-minute program that’s based on the Southern meat-and-three-sides concept: a deep dive and three shorts. Each episode explores food trends, the political economy and societal impact of food, health news and more, and is hosted by Caity Moseman and Kat Johnson of Heritage Radio Network, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit food media company.
5 Food Documentaries to watch right now
If you want to get your foodie fix but you’re more of a visual person, add any or all of these fabulous food documentaries to your Netflix queue.
1. ‘Forks Over Knives’
Two researchers attempt to explore an age-old theory: Is eliminating animal products from the human diet the key to reducing the risk of developing diseases like diabetes and cancer? This doc will offer an all-new perspective on plant-based regimens.
2. ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’
Eighty-five-year-old culinary genius Jiro Ono is the proud owner of Tokyo’s Sukiyabashi Jiro, an award-winning restaurant that has only ten tables. The doc gives an inside look at the eatery’s day-to-day operations. Oh, and did we mention each plate costs $300?
Cooking meat over an open flame sounds like a straightforward pastime, but it’s so much more than that. This doc explores the barbecue rituals and traditions that have been passed down for generations across multiple cultures.
When farmer Marty Travis saw his community struggling to compete with corporate agriculture businesses, he decided to make a change. He pioneered the sustainable food movement in Chicago, which has changed the way people view farming.
5. ‘42 Grams’
An ambitious chef launches an underground restaurant out of his apartment, and it becomes a total success. He and his wife use the money to fulfill their dreams of opening an upscale eatery in Chicago. This is their story.
5 food memoirs to read right now
For even more culinary content, check out one of these food-centric memoirs.
1. ‘KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL’ BY ANTHONY BOURDAIN
The late, great Bourdain is largely to thank for the food memoir genre as we know it today. In the book that launched his career, Bourdain quickly strips the glamour away from the chef’s life, writing crudely (but hilariously) about what goes on behind the counter of a busy New York bistro.
2. ‘MY LIFE IN FRANCE’ BY JULIA CHILD
If you found yourself particularly charmed by the Julia parts in Nora Ephron’s movie Julie & Julia, we can assume two things: First, you have a pulse, and second, you’ll love this book, on which the Julia half was based. In it, the great chef and TV personality teamed up with her nephew to write lovingly about her years in France, which went on to change the culinary world forever. NBD.
3. ‘TENDER AT THE BONE’ BY RUTH REICHL
It’s hard to imagine that the former New York Times restaurant critic and editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine grew up eating moldy food thrown together by a slightly unhinged mother. The first in a beautifully written trio of Reichl’s memoirs, Tender at the Bone chronicles her unlikely rise to one of the most storied food careers of the past few decades.
4. ‘HEAT’ BY BILL BUFORD
Buford was an established writer with a pretty enviable day job at The New Yorker when he quit to become an apprentice in the kitchen of Mario Batali’s restaurant Babbo. His memoir is full of practical cooking tips (never throw away starchy pasta water, FYI), as well as great stories (pig slaughtering in Italy, for one) and insights into the uber-competitive world of New York restaurants.
5. ‘THE GASTRONOMICAL ME’ BY MFK FISHER
Fisher is like the fairy godmother of great food writing—she did it earlier and better than anyone else. It’s hard to pick just one of her books, but this one, about her first trip to France, holds a special place in our heart.