The Friendly’s Cone Head Sundae | A New England Childhood Favorite

Depicting a clown face made of ice cream, the Friendly’s Cone Head sundae is a sweet childhood memory for many New Englanders.

By Aimee Tucker

Jun 07 2022


Whether you call it the Cone Head sundae, Conehead sundae, or “the clown sundae,” the kid-friendly Friendly’s ice cream clown-face sundae—made with a homemade vanilla ice cream head, Reese’s pieces eyes, whipped cream ears, and a sugar cone dipped in hot fudge hat—is likely a happy reminder of your New England childhood…or your child’s New England childhood.

The Friendly’s Cone Head Sundae.

Founded in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1935, Friendly’s eventually spread down the East coast, all the way to Florida. You can read more about Friendly’s in our earlier post on the Friendly’s Jubilee Roll.

On a recent Friday afternoon, I met up with my sister and (almost) three year-old nephew, Quinn, at the Friendly’s restaurant in Nashua, New Hampshire for lunch (and let’s face it, dessert). My sisters and I had grown up “Cone Head kids,” and we thought it was time Quinn joined the club.

The local Friendly’s in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Friendly’s—Creating memories since 1935.
Friendly's Cone Head Sundae
So many dessert options at Friendly’s! (Click the image for a larger view)

The restaurant was busier than I expected for a weekday afternoon, but I was glad to see it. After a brush with bankruptcy in 2011, Friendly’s has been working hard in recent years to win back returning customers, and impress new ones. They’ve updated the menu and remodeled many of the remaining restaurants (they call them “refreshed restaurants”) with a nod to the chain’s long history.

Updated Friendly’s restaurants even have tablets at the table that you can use to order and pay the check.

After a round of grilled cheeses and lots of coloring for the youngest member of our group, our dessert arrived courtesy of our friendly waitress, Suzanne. Along with Quinn’s Cone Head sundae, I had ordered a classic chocolate Fribble (Friendly’s speak for chocolate frappe), and my sister a classic Happy Endings sundae.

A Friendly’s dessert trio of champions — a chocolate Fribble, Cone Head Sundae, and Happy Endings Sundae.
Going in for a bite!

The verdict? As if there was any doubt…

This Cone Head Sundae is kid-approved!

Quinn loved his first Cone Head sundae. But then again, what’s not to love?

His mom and I were disappointed the dish didn’t have a hidden cache of Reese’s Pieces at the bottom (we didn’t imagine that part from our late-80s childhoods, did we?), but Quinn was none the wiser.

Thanks for the memories, Friendly’s—past, present, and future!

Are a fan of the Friendly’s Cone Head Sundae?

This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated. 

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