Rankings and Reviews

The Exception Magazine is committed to providing accurate and fair coverage of the food and hospitality industries.  Here is our methodology for selecting and reviewing each sector.



Our goal is to identify the best fast food meal in America. A fast food chain must have locations in at least five states to be eligible.

Each meal is reviewed by an individual food critic in a natural setting. The restaurants will remain unaware of the critic; he or she will not disclose that they are reviewing the meal while eating and the cost of food is always covered by the Exception Magazine.

Each reviewer will order a standard meal, along with typical side orders such as french fries and a soda. The main food portion of the meal, such as the sandwich or burger, is given more weight than the side orders or drinks.

Our reviewers then rate each of the five criterion below on a ten point scale:

  • Value
  • Experience
  • Aesthetic
  • Taste
  • Quality

The overall score is an average of the scores.   See the full list of reviews and results on our FAST FOOD POWER RANKINGS page.


Town Restaurant and Hotel Reviews

Other food and travel magazines focus solely on global destinations like Miami, London and New York. While those big cities are indeed wonderful, we believe that smaller cities and towns also have amazing restaurants and hotels that deserve acclaim!

To provide accurate and reliable tips and recommendations, we have teamed up with companies such as Yelp to factor in the wisdom of the crowds in our rankings.  In full transparency, we link back to the original Yelp reviews, where applicable, to give our readers more information about each suggestion.