BUYING a pie from Sweeney and Todd, going for a drink at The Purple Turtle, or grabbing a sandwich from Shed…

These are just some of Reading’s food and drink rites of passage.

But one that’s definitely on the list is a fry-up from Munchees on Butter Market.

Munchees on Butter Market, Reading

Munchees on Butter Market, Reading

The ‘home of the all-day breakfast’ has been in Reading since 1985 and is still a hit with locals, passers-through and Reading Festival-goers today.

READ MORE: Five places in Reading to grab your lunch from

My day job involves covering the courts and almost every weekday I walk from the Chronicle offices on Bridge Street through Market Place via Minster Street to the Crown Court on The Forbury.

And invariably as I walk past Munchees there are half-a-dozen punters tucking into a full English breakfast at 10am.

And invariably, staring at the Munchees customers makes me very hungry and full of envy -- the breakfasts look fantastic.

So given I had never ventured into Reading’s favourite greasy spoon, I thought it was about time I gave it a try on a day-off last Thursday (October 21).

This was the morning after I had watched Reading FC blow a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to Blackpool, so I was hoping for a substantial pick-me-up.

My friend and I walked into the busy and bustling cafe at around 11.30am but there were plenty of space for us in the 62-seater eatery.

The interior was kind of what I was expecting -- cosy and compact with American-style diner booths that were a bit worn and jaded, a bit like the front of the shop.

The Munchees interior ft. American-style booths

The Munchees interior ft. American-style booths

But the restaurant is full of character -- the seating is comfy and the walls are busy with lots of decoration and ornaments to absorb and not a hint of gentrification in sight.

READ MORE: Reading's food hygiene ratings revealed

The decor was not what we were there for, however -- we were there for the big breakfasts.

A packed menu gives you plenty of options including seven different all-day breakfast choices.

They range in price from £5.05 for the brunch breakfast -- a small plate with egg, bacon and an item of your choice -- to £8.45 for The Full Monty, which includes a quarter pounder burger alongside all your usual fry-up items.

The full- English breakfast options available

The full- English breakfast options available

If a full English isn’t your thing (and if so, why are you reading this article?) there are plenty more options: cheap burgers, fish and chips, pies, sandwiches, wraps, omelettes, jacket potatoes, salads and veggie options.

READ MORE: Reading's new restaurants and takeaways to try

Both my friend and I opted for the Munchees breakfast (it would be rude not to, right?).

For £6.55, we got one egg, two pieces of bacon, one sausage, chips, a (large) portion of beans, a hash brown, fried mushrooms, two pieces of fried bread, and a tomato.

You get a lot for your money, that much was immediately obvious and also what I had largely expected.

We waited around ten minutes for our food and the service was quick and helpful.

Surveying the room while we waited, it was noticeable how there were people from all different walks of life dining at Munchees.

You had the suited professionals tucking in, elderly couples out for a bite to eat, delivery drivers stopping for a break and many more all in one greasy spoon melting-pot.

And it’s no surprise why.

READ MORE: Can Wingstop conquer the Reading food curse?

Our hearty dish of fried grub was served and it was impossible to know where to start there was so much on the plate.

The Munchees breakfast

The Munchees breakfast

But we got through it. It took me less time to eat than I expected given the size of the portion, but that was because of how tasty the offering was.

The bacon was particularly tasty. I’m not a huge fan of the crispy bacon you commonly get in more modern, up-market places, so the chewy texture was perfect.

My other favourite item on the plate was the fried bread. It’s a food I’ve been indifferent about in the past but the fried bread on offer here was both crunchy and moist.

More options on the Munchees menu

More options on the Munchees menu

In my opinion, baked beans are pointless if they’re not served piping hot and fortunately these beans were just that.

They complemented the dry items perfectly and the portion size was generous.

The mushrooms were not slimy like you sometimes find on a fry-up and a great addition to the plate, the tomato was soft and juicy but not particularly tangy.

Reading Chronicle: My guest about to tuck in to his foodMy guest about to tuck in to his food

READ MORE: Why the jacket potatoes at Pierre's are the best

My hash brown was quick to fall apart but was still crunchy on the outside and softer in the middle, and my egg appeared overdone but the yolk was still plenty runny.

The only criticism I had related to the sausage -- although it was flavourful, it was quite tough and hard to cut and chew.

An empty plate following a delicious meal

An empty plate following a delicious meal

But overall, my Munchees breakfast was great.

I expected a filling and flavourful breakfast for an inexpensive amount and that's what I got.

Clearly, it’s not a particularly healthy plate and the food was never going to be Michelin-star quality, but it is perfect for a cheap, tasty treat in a warm and wholesome setting.

For just over £13 we left with our bellies full, a feeling of contentedness (especially after the Royals’ loss the previous night) and a Reading rite of passage ticked off our lists.

The author feeling contended after his breakfast

The author feeling contended after his breakfast

What a bargain -- I’ll definitely be back.