I live in a downtown loft in Austin, Texas. One of the things I like best about living downtown is the density; there are a lot of things to do within walking distance. I receive a lot of invitations to happy hours and other organized events downtown. Free food and beverages are often at these events.
In fact, I've theorized that you can eat and drink for free every night of the week. It's just a matter of knowing where the event is and getting an invitation.