How To Eat Ice Cream Cone Without Drips, Stains, Or Mess

Make the most of your trip to the creamery by ordering exactly what you want, how you want it.

Ordering ice cream in a cup has, to me, always felt like defeat. It's an utterly practical, thoroughly grown-up way to eat ice cream, a series of tidy uniform spoonfuls eaten while the children in your party laugh and scream, fumbling to catch their cones' sticky drips streaking down their forearms.

I love ordering ice cream in a cone—it's much more fun to eat, as the children can attest!—but I'm also a big fan of eating things in a way that preserves my wardrobe and, to a far lesser extent, my dignity. So here's what I like to do: order ice cream in a waffle cone, then request a spoon to go with it.

The spoon doesn't have to be used for ferrying the ice cream from the cone to your mouth, though you can use it this way if you like. Instead, it's an important tool for pushing the ice cream down into the cone as you eat. This way, the scoop of ice cream is never hanging over the edges of the cone like this, meaning you can eat it at a slightly more leisurely pace without worrying about it melting or dripping all over over (but not so leisurely that your waffle cone starts getting soggy).

The waffle cone tends to have a wider mouth than a sugar or cake cone, so you can push more ice cream down into it at any point in the process—an important consideration if you get two or more scoops in your cone. I like to lick my ice cream instead of just using the spoon, so I'll start by licking the scoop for a while. Then I'll push it down a bit with the spoon and bite off all the newly exposed edges of cone poking out over the top of the ice cream. Lick, push, repeat.

If done correctly, this method will eventually leave you with a final nub of waffle cone still filled to the brim with ice cream, no dry bits whatsoever. Each mouthful will contain ice cream and cone in equal measure, satisfying to the very last bite. And not a drop dripped onto your favorite summer outfit!

I swear by this method, and I know I'm not the only one; look no further than the gelato shops of Italy to see people picking at cones with teeny tasting paddles. But if anyone else has a patented approach to eating ice cream (or soft serve or frozen yogurt), be sure to teach us your ways.