Shattuck Down Low 2284 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. 510-548-1159
Now that Kimballs Carnival has abandoned its regular salsa dancing night, it seems like there's practically nowhere in the East Bay to enjoy a salsa night-out. But there is a relatively new chico on the calle in downtown Berkeley: Shattuck Down Low Lounge. The Down Low hosts salsa every Wednesday; cover charge is $5 on DJ nights and $8 on nights when live bands play. It's beginner-friendly: one-hour lessons are offered early in the evening (the club is open from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.) and serve as a cool way to meet new people. Located below Pasand, the Down Low is a hidden gem -- and the dance floor is surprisingly humongous. Somehow the club also manages to fit in comfortable round booths for salseros who want a break and maybe grab a bite. Check it out.