For whatever reason, waffles, crêpes, and ice cream have become quite a noticeable niche market in Cairo. One of the more recent entries into this market is Chacho, located around the corner from Barclay’s Bank on Road Nine, Maadi.

Chacho indeed offers a new, relatively cheap experience even amongst its closest competitors. In the place of retro American diner-style, Chacho has two granite tables and a granite counter, where customers sit in comfortable red leather stools. While a flat-screen TV shows football, the staff cooks up the food behind the counter right next to the seating area. The smell of fresh waffles and crêpes is unavoidable.

Chacho features a menu of sweet and salty waffles and crêpes. The offered toppings are pretty much the same for both the waffles and crêpes. You can choose Nutella, candy and fruit for the sweet varieties, and chicken, beef, tuna, or vegetables for the savoury ones. In addition, you can enjoy a variety of hot and cold drinks such as cappuccino (14LE), hot chocolate (15LE), smoothies (20LE), or special house drinks called CinaCool, ChachoCool, and Chacho Spring (17LE to 23LE).

For any time of day, it's hard to go wrong with the black & white crêpe, filled with Nutella and bananas, and covered in chocolate sauce (21LE). Not only is it filling enough to be a satisfying breakfast or lunch; the crêpe itself is also really good and fresh. Like the rest of the food at Chacho; expect your order to be ready in five minutes or less.

If you are looking for something heartier, for a larger lunch or even dinner, try the grilled chicken waffle (23LE) that comes with grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, tomato, onion and dressing. While the chicken, cheese and waffle are terrific; beware that this dish also comes with a healthy portion of chopped olives that it could do without. Even so, the grilled chicken waffle has just the right mix of sugar and salt.

As for the drinks, the specialty cold drinks come at a reasonable price, but they are definitely very sweet. Perhaps try the CinaCool (20LE), but ask for less syrup. As is, the CinaCool is delicious but leaves an overly artificial syrup aftertaste in your mouth. Still, the sugar overkill is the worst part of an otherwise highly enjoyable meal.

If you want a step up from the usual chicken and waffle experience around Cairo, Chacho is definitely worth a visit. Even if you just happen to be in the neighbourhood with a friend; the sweet crêpes and waffles would definitely be enough for two along with an iced tea (14LE) or an espresso (9LE).