Helado de Elote at Xochi
Have you tried—and failed—to make some wild flavor of homemade ice cream for your partner? (It was still liquid, wasn’t it?) Make up for it by ordering Xochi pastry chef Ruben Ortega’s housemade corn custard ice cream—shaped into baby ears of corn and laid atop corn cookie crumbles with a dollop of whiskey-infused ice cream and blue cornmeal cream. It’s okay. You’ll get that recipe down one day. —Timothy Malcolm
- Find it at 1777 Walker St., xochihouston.com.
- Do cheer on the Astros, because Minute Maid Park is two blocks away and nothing goes better with corn ice cream than peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
- Eat … well, at Xochi! The cachets de res en mole pasilla, also known as braised beef cheeks in rich poblano sauce, is heavenly.
Affogato al Caffe at Fellini Caffè
An affogato is the best proof that opposites attract—leave it to the ultra-romantic Italians to get that bitter, strong espresso is the perfect match for sweet, chocolate-chip inflected stracciatella gelato. The version at this City Centre caffè comes with three scoops, a shot of caffeine, and its own party hat (a little, upturned sugar cone) to celebrate your first date, obvi.–Gwendolyn Knapp
- Find it at 794 Sorella Ct., fellinihouston.com.
- Do pin down a second date at Bowl & Barrel across the street, where lanes are rented by the half hour.
- Eat at Seasons 52 to feel ultra-swanky; Hopdoddy.
Milk & Cookies Ice Cream at Tiny’s Milk & Cookies
West U’s beloved walk-up counter for ice cream, pastries, and coffee will have a line wrapped around the building but allows for some convo time—like what scoop you’ll order (the one with chunks of house-made cookie dough in it, duh). And if things don’t work out? Hey, Tiny’s cinnamon-spiced waffle cone is your one true love anyway.–GK
- Find it at 3636 Rice Blvd., tinysmilkandcookies.com.
- Do take a walk around stately and charming “downtown” West U.
- Eat all the tacos at tiny, buzzy El Topo, just a block away on Edloe.
Soft Serve at La Lucha
Of course the Ford Fry eatery that elevates old school Gulf Coast grub also elevates the soft serve of your childhood dreams. Order one of three flavors (chocolate and vanilla are likely, then a wild card) and dress your cone in an assortment of off-the-beaten palate toppings—extra-virgin olive oil, Fruity Pebbles, saltines—that will definitely get the conversation going.—Joanna O'Leary