Those seeking a mix of high and low culture will dig the numerous pubs (usually with outdoor patios) that line Greenville Ave and Knox-Henderson. Deep Ellum is dive-bar central, but it's also the edgiest neighborhood and prime territory for hitting the streets and making your own discoveries.

Watch for beers from local legends like 903, Community and Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Downtown & Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum is compact enough that you can easily just prowl around to find a bar or club of the moment. It's easy to get here without a car as DART has a light rail stop in the heart of the neighborhood.

What the…? Penguin

No, you haven't walked into a surrealist painting: that dude really is wearing a penguin suit. One of the kookiest bar gags we've ever seen, it's worth coming to OE Penguin to say 'I drank Jameson in a penguin suit in downtown Dallas.' Or, like most people, you could just come for the tiki-bar ambience, the good jukebox, the pool table and an until-11pm happy hour that ensures the penguin suit seems like a better idea as the night wears on.

Greenville Avenue

Wandering among the many patio bars here is a Dallas tradition. And a good one.

Pay close attention to signs: although free on-street parking exists, towing is rampant here.

Uptown & Knox-Henderson

Mix and match your styles as these areas are prime bar-hopping territory.