Ranking Spotify’s best dinner-party playlists

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Spotify loves making playlists. Some may say even to an excessive extent.

Each day the algorithm works lovingly to create six personalised Daily Mix playlists for every user, soundtracking every conceivable mood. The platform produces a plentiful share of playlists curated by real humans too – a musical rabbit hole easy to get lost in, genres spanning everything from Party to Sleep, Gaming to K-pop.

These playlists are crafted by Spotify’s team of experts, and though their identities remain elusive, Spotify assures that “their understanding of the right music for every moment is based on years of experience and careful consideration of listening habits.” After delving into an embarrassing amount of these weird and wonderful playlists, I was pleasantly surprised to find that many were actually rather good.

My favourites all coincidentally lend themselves to one genre, and what I will now refer to as my favourite type of music: Cooking & Dining. The inexplicable essence of the genre is hard to define – but every playlist hidden under this vast heading somehow makes perfect sense.

The genre is borderless, capturing global sounds of dinner times from all over the globe and condensing them into playlists like Trattoria Italia, Caribbean Jerk Grill and even Nordic Bakery. Spotify seems to have suddenly remembered Shakespeare’s famous words “if music be the food of love, play on”, and zealously run with them.

There does seem to be a strange synonymy between good music and good food: feeding ears, bellies and satisfying the soul. The kitchen is often described as the beating heart of the home – a heart now beating in time to these feel-good tunes. Here are the top three playlists for the next time you can’t decide what to listen to while boiling your pasta water.

Bottomless Brunch:

Followers: 77,529

Standout Tracks: ‘3 Nights’ – Dominic Fike, ‘LUCID’ – Rina Sawayama, ‘Watermelon Sugar’ – Harry Styles

Perfect for: Impromptu dance sessions in uni kitchens.

Not technically under the cooking and dining genre, this playlist is hidden under ‘Party’, even more ideal for a kitchen disco. A masterful blend of old classics and sparkling pop favourites, Nelly Furtado’s ‘Promiscuous’ is found sandwiched between Dua Lipa’s ‘Don’t Start Now’ and Lizzo’s ‘Good as Hell’. With an infectiously feel-good tempo, Bottomless Brunch begs to be played outside of the kitchen too, even at the gym. The playlist is regularly updated, meaning you won’t be missing out on the most up-to-date tunes.

Kitchen Swagger:

Followers: 583,205

Standout Tracks: ‘Make Me Feel’ – Janelle Monáe, ‘You Ain’t The Problem’ – Michael Kiwanuka, ‘Lost in Paris’ – Tom Misch.

Perfect for: Impressing dinner guests with your incredible taste.

Spotify perhaps describes this playlist best: “get jiggy in the kitchen with this groovy playlist”. Well stocked with funky jams and toe-tappingly-good tracks, old favourites like TLC and Amy Winehouse make it physically impossible not to steal a boogie, whether stirring some sauce or sitting down to dig in. Funk and soul tracks are expertly combined to create your own modern jazz bar right at home.

Feel Good Dinner:

Followers: 426,338

Standout Tracks: ‘Why I Came to California’ – Dent May, ‘Debbie’ – Your Smith, ‘Somebody Made For Me’ – Emitt Rhodes.

Perfect for: Instant mood boosting.

This playlist is the crème de la crème of Cooking & Dining, maybe even the best of the whole Spotify universe. This playlist offers a space to hit shuffle and discover new music, unknown but brilliant names sandwiched between the comfort of old classics like Aretha Franklin and Robyn. Perfect for any taste, it seamlessly crosses genre, the only criteria being pure unbridled joy. I’m even listening to Feel Good Dinner as I write this, the serotonin boost too great to be confined within kitchen walls. 

Article by Mia Smith

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