Johnny Baghdad's Cafe On the Square. Masham. N. Yorks.

words by Tony Talbot

On a late spring or summer afternoon, having left your board and wetsuit to dry on the sand dunes after a couple of tough hours on the surf, this would be the cool and groovy spot you headed to for that ice-cold coke. Or escaping the tourists in the Souk or Medina this is the place you would head to relax with an ice tea and shoot the breeze with like-minded hippie types.  Some comment on TRIP ADVISOR that the Cafe is a place with heavy North African influences others that it reminds them of old towns in Turkey. Such is the "mash-up" of sound, people, smells and music. if Johnny Bagdhad's Cafe was a song it would have to be Rock the Casbah by the Clash, which coincidentally is often heard playing adding to a unique ambient atmosphere, 


Mr. Bagdhad's eatery shouldn't be in North Yorkshire but it is and as such is a wonderful surprise. If for whatever reason you find yourself in Masham, a town famous for its sheep and brewery hence the Black Sheep Brewery situated here then you will have little trouble finding Johnny's house of food, fun and friendliness. Just head to the square and look over towards the church tower. Simples.

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Colin Blair the owner started his career in the food business washing pans for a restaurant in Stamford bridge near York when he was fifteen years old. Five years later he was their head chef. He then went on to work in Greece, Berlin, Canada, Central America, and Norway. Johnny Baghdad's Cafe on the Square is a testament to Colin's success as a chef and his varied cultural cooking background is evident in the food he serves. He has surrounded himself with a great bunch of very helpful and friendly staff whose efforts complete the great experience.

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If you are after wonderfully simple but great food with fresh ingredients and a pinch of the exotic, get yourself down to Masham where you will find a great menu for both veggies and carnivores. The massive hot filled rolls are to die for at prices that will not break the bank averaging around £4.50.

Testimony to the popularity of the Cafe, (as shown in the pic above taken last week) despite temperatures hovering around 4 degrees Celsius, people are prepared to sit outside and enjoy the experience.