Toast Special – Socratis and Stamatia in Kos, Greece

“At the beginning of every pay month, one of my colleagues brings us toast from here to the office. It is a special tradition to celebrate the work of the previous month”.

Dimitra introduced me to the small, inconspicuous snack bar catering to her office’s monthly celebration. The snack bar is located underneath Agia Paraskevi Church in the centre of Kos Town and is signposted simply as “Toast Special”. The business has been in Socratis’ family since 1981, when it was purchased by his father. Toast sandwiches are made by Socratis while his wife, Stamatia, takes in-house and phone orders. The menu is short and consists of four varieties: ham, bacon, smoked pork and turkey, with egg as an optional feature. The sandwiches are toasted, pressed and parcelled in red and white chequered paper.

The snack bar is well known and popular among locals on the island; evident through it’s non-stop stream of customers while we were there. Trading from 7am till 2pm, Socratis and Stamatia estimate they make at least 150 toasted sandwiches everyday. “Toast Special” is open everyday except “never on a Sunday”, Socratis quipped, referencing a famous Melina Mercouri song by the same name.

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Dimitra and her ‘Ham special’

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