How Ice & Vice's Giant Ice Cream Cones Became an Instagram Sensation
We're talking one and a half feet of stacked dessert perfection
Ever wonder how bagels get rainbow-ed? Or how milkshakes get so damn big? We do, too, which is why we're taking you behind the scenes of NYC's Ice & Vice ice cream shop to find out how they make those sky-high cones taking over Instagram.
The shop, which is owned by two friends, Ken Lo and Paul Kim, originally started off selling ice cream on the streets (literally, they say) before opening up their brick-and-mortar location in 2015. They’re known for experimental flavors that incorporate everything from black garlic to chlorophyll, using brightly colored and flavored cones, and somehow making it all delicious.
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They offer ice cream sandwiches and pies along with an ever-changing ice cream rotation, which leaves many customers unable to choose just one.
Story has it, that's what led to the shop's Insta-fame. An employee suggested topping a scoop with a sandwich, “like a hat.” The customer then posted a picture of it on Instagram, and ice cream lovers have been stacking their cones higher and higher ever since.
According to Lo, Ice & Vice was at first hesitant about becoming an Instagram sensation, because they wanted to focus on quality and flavor. But they’ve since embraced the fact that these days social media is king, and even if customers go for the photo, they tend to stay for the flavors.
What’s the secret behind building a ‘gram-worthy cone? Spoiler alert: nothing, actually. When asked how they stack the tallest ice cream cones on the Internet, the answer was simple: “We pray.”
With nothing but an ice cream scoop and concentration, staff carefully stack the camera-ready cones piece by piece. But the method isn’t foolproof. The cones fall over “all the time” as they're being constructed, which requires customers to be patient. Once built, staff members strongly advise doing the actual eating from the safety of a bowl.