Evolution Fast Food

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  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 104 reviews )
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619-550-1818
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2965 5th Ave, San Diego, California, USA, 92103

Vegan fast food with drive-thru option. Features a variety of foods, from rawcos (raw tacos) and raw stuffed veggies, to soup du jour and a selection of burgers. Has fresh organic juices, signature smoothies and shakes, European-style desserts, and vegan soft serve. Most food is in-house-made from scratch even the ketchup and ranch dressing. Gluten-free options. Brunch is offered weekends 11am-2pm. Uses biodegradable packaging. Est. 2009 originally as Nature's Express. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-8:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-9:00pm, Sun 11:00am-8:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Organic, Raw, Fast food, Juice bar, Take-out, Bakery

Reviews (104)

First Review by divine_health

comfort vegan fast food - Edit

If you're in the mood for vegan fast food, this place won't disappoint. I got the chicken ranch sandwich and a cup of chili. Some of the best chili I've ever tasted! I just wish the vegan chicken came with more ranch; I should've ordered a side of it. Outdoor seating is a little grungy, but I liked the laid-back vibe of it. Staff was friendly and chill. Would go again!

Pros: laid-back vibes, traditional "fast food" options, entirely vegan

Cons: only outdoor seating

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yum! - Edit

Everything we got was amazing! Highly recommend this place! Will def go back.

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Delicious and convenient - Edit

Great vegan food if you're on the go! I have it when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to cook or sit down for a meal, and the price is pretty good.

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Great Fast Food - Edit

I've been eating here for years and have enjoyed it. They have a special everyday that they rotate, which almost never disappoints. Though if you go enough you'll start to notice some repetition. It is a little pricey to me for what it is, but that doesn't stop me from going back. I probably would have given them 5 stars for a fast food joint a few months ago, but they're currently getting out shined by their little brother in OB, Plant Powered. If you haven't been, I definitely recommend trying it out.

Pros: Daily special, Quick

Cons: Pricey for fast food

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tasty burgers - Edit

We went and had two burgers here. The tempeh burger isn't like the tempeh I'm used to; this one is more soft and mushy. Nevertheless they were as tasty as I hoped. The vegan cheese is great, it melts and is sticky, unlike a lot of other vegan cheeses.

Definitely recommended as an environmental friendly, cruelty-free fast food alternative!

Pros: tasty, friendly staff, central location

Cons: more expensive than regular fast food, not much seating

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My first vegan take out! - Edit

The food here was soooooo gooooood. I got the mushroom swiss burger and a chocolate almond milk shake. Definitely recommended. My non-vegan aunt enjoyed it a lot too.

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Love - Edit

I love this little cafe. It is perfect for one who drives a lot. Sometimes, I roll up to their to-go window and I will get a day-old veggie sandwich for like $1.50. Most of the time, however, I stop in and eat inside the cafe and enjoy their daily specials !!! Vegan hamburgers made a zillion different ways and crazy salads !!! There are not enough good things I could say about Evolution. I have been coming here since it was a buffet-style vegan restaurant, probably under a different name, I don't remember. But, I do remember always loving the food here !!!!!

Pros: Excellent vegan food, Great price

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Great place, Great food - Edit

I used Happy Cow to find a spot to eat while visiting San Diego, and chose Evolution Fast Food based on the positive reviews, which were well deserved

It was fairly busy, but the food was prepared well, tasted great and the staff was very friendly

had a burger & fries and the hemp milk shake, WOW !!

I will deff return

Pros: Great food, Taste & Flavors, That Hemp milk Shake tho !!!

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eat here. it is good - Edit

Great flavor, fresh, generous portions, fast, variety, in house desserts. top notch

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Totally Evolved Fast Food - Edit

Delicious! Had the Carne Asade Street Tacos with Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert. Affordable, fast, and friendly staff!

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very exciting - Edit

We visited Evolution Fast Food while visiting San Diego. The shakes we got were really, really good. Chocolate reminded me of a Wendy's frosty from my pre-vegan days and my fiancé commented that his vanilla shake tasted just like he remembered from before he was vegan too. They seem to use the Beast Burger as their "beef" patty which is pretty good. The regular fries were very good, but the sweet potato ones were cut like chips and were mushy instead of crispy - bit of a bummer. The outdoor seating area was cute but could use a little freshening up to feel more clean. And on that note - from time to time I got whiffs of what smelled like a cleaning solution...I later realized it was the smell from the bathrooms around the corner - kinda gross. But nothing that would stop me from going back! Vegan fries, burgers and milkshakes - yes please!!

Side note: We were a little surprised that the menu board uses the words fish/chicken etc without clarifying that they're vegan - you only know they are if you notice at the top of the board it says Evolution Vegan Fast Food, but yet one spot it says "vegan mayo" and in other spots it puts quotes around "honey"...my fiancé actually asked me if the place was all vegan and I pointed to the top of the sign, but the inconsistencies really did throw us off for a second!

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Definitely worth a trip! - Edit

Great little restaurant with a lovely outdoor patio. Close enough to Balboa Park that you could walk your food over and have a picnic. I ordered the California Burrito and my fiancé ordered the Southwest Burger (with Black Bean patty). Both were very tasty. If I have one complaint its just that the food was a little salty but certainly not enough to stop us from devouring every bite.

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gorgeous patio, fast & easy, kid-friendly - Edit

We came here directly from the airport after a six hour, cross country flight with two kids under four :-) this was more perfect than I could have imagined! You order at the counter and while waiting for food to be prepared, we relaxed in the spacious and comfortable patio seating area, with a beautiful fountain and lots of foliage. The food was terrific. There was a wonderful large variety of very healthy stuff, like a raw burger, and a green salad with ranch…to less healthy but equally delicious and satiating comfort food -- we had one of the regular burgers, the chili cheese fries (amazing!), And the tacos, which were truly divine :-)

Pros: great variety of healthy and comfort options, beautiful large open patio seating, great vibe all around

Cons: not fancy (if you're looking for that)

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AMAZING! - Edit

This place is truly amazing. I didn't know anything about it before but I've seen their menu online and decided to try it. We had black bean & beef bacon cheeseburgers with fries and even my omnivore parents said it was the best thing ever. Beef tasted even a bit too real, just like tempeh bacon and cheese, and the fries had some herb spices and were also amazing. I also took one chicken sandwich for later and it was great. Only thing that wasn't that good was the soft serve ice cream, it was too icy and cold to eat, it didn't have the ice cream consistency. But overall, amazing.

Pros: amazing food, inexpensive

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Awesome - Edit

This restaurant is the perfect mid day lunch for fast food lovers. Great ranch dressing!

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Vegan Drive-Thru! - Edit

I love that this exists. I've only been once, and my burger was so-so, but I would definitely go back and try other things.

Pros: Vegan , Drive-thru, Good value

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My Go-To - Edit

Anytime I dont feel like cooking or have a family party to go to- Evolution is my auto pilot destination. 80% of the time ill call in my order and get the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Chicken Strips and ill pickup a ready made tuna salad. Every once in a while ill venture out and try something new. Everything is always so flavorful. No matter where im at, whenever i pull my deliciousness out of the brown paper bag from heaven, i get asked 'are you eating chicken?!' Lol at which point, i smile and happily advertise Evolution and everything it offers.

Pros: All Vegan Menu, Full of Flavor, Diverse Options (burgers, burritos, mac n cheese)

Cons: Only 1 location, Always Busy so Call Ahead, Small Parking Lot

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Vegan Fast Food Drive-Thru! - Edit

San Diego vegans are a lucky bunch! This vegan drive-thru may not be large or fast, but it's the idea and thought that count, and I, for one, appreciate it.

TEMPE BURGER WITH BACON: Not the best burger that I've ever had, but it was ok. It seemed a tad dry and lacking in flavor.

FISH SANDWICH: Basically, 2 Gardein Fishless Filets on a bun. Nothing original, and nothing that they added to it made it stand out from being a grocery store bought meal. Even their tartar sauce lacked flavor; I couldn't even tell it was supposed to be tartar sauce. Skip this and make your own at home.

BUFFALO CHICKEN SANDWICH: Now we're talking! Buffalo sauce was kicking. Chicken patty was crispy. This sandwich is a winner in the tasty department!

French fries were crispy and good.

Their soft serve wasn't the best, but it was ok.

Loved the outside patio area. It's very spacious and cozy.

I will certainly return to try a few more items and to see if any of the other burgers taste better than the tempeh option.

Cons: small parking lot

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Yummy burger & sweet potato chips - Edit

I had read about this place on HappyCow many years ago when it first opened. Went down to San Diego and stopped in for a meal. Here's my Evolution Fast Food review.

The decor and vibe felt "old school veg" to me... classic. The staff all seemed like vegheads, too (a plus). The space is relaxed and simple, not fancy. There are tables for local event and business flyers. In the back is a large, shaded yard with tables for seating.

You order at the counter, your name gets called when food is ready, find a table, then bus your own table when you are finish. All food is served in disposable, compostable ware.

From the menu my friend and I ordered a basic burger and upgraded to the house-made bean patty. The taste is straight-forward veggie burger but more hearty because of the bean patty which was very good. I wish I had added some hot sauce to it to give it a kick.

We also got a side of sweet potato fries which are like chips, served with a house-made ranch dressing, and this was totally delicious and decadent. I would definitely get this again.

My friend also got a berry-flax smoothie and a pumpkin praline pie (both good). And I got their last cup of quinoa-veggie soup of the day (hearty, good taste).

Evolution makes its own pies, baked goods, and desserts as well as the sauces and dressing. There are 2 fridges stocked with prepared goods and sweets for grab n go.

I did see the drive-thru window to one side of the building but didn't have a need for it this time. Next time when I'm in this area, I'll try the other menu items.

When you are in this part of San Diego, eat at Evolution and show your support!

Pros: truly vegan establishment, good vibes, affordable

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Delicious - Edit

Went here about 6 months ago and ordered the fish filet and my family got a variety of other food, sides, and smoothies. Everything was super good and worth the money. The only downside I would note is that although they do have some healthy options, there is still processed fake meat (including my fish filet, although it did taste scarily similar to fish) with unhealthy additives and everything you find in other fake animal products. But as a treat, it's a really great place to go and try some fun foods. Also, not the cleanest place.

Pros: Great tasting food, Variety of menu options

Cons: Not the healthiest option out there

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SO GOOD - Edit

OMG! So so delicious!!! It was the best burger I've ever had

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It's a Drive-Thru for Vegan Food! - Edit

I was recently in California and found Evolution Fast Food on Happy Cow. I'm not familiar with Vegan drive-thrus but was into the idea. Well I can say I enjoyed my food from Evolution, my drive-thru experience was interesting. First off the parking lot area where the drive-thru is is very tiny. The car I was riding in is quite large and we had a hard time pulling into the queue. When we were ordering, my friend asked if the Vegan ranch was made with cashews. The cashier said she didn't know and then said they don't let her know those things. I understand not giving away your recipe, but a main ingredient like nuts (which can be an allergen) is probably important to know. Once our food was ordered we waited a long time to receive it. For a drive-thru I was expecting a bit more speed.

On the plus side, I got the Raw Tacos and Sweet Potato Fries. The tacos were fresh and delicious. The sweet potato fries were more like chips but they were still tasty. I might give Evolution another try if I'm ever in town again.

Pros: 100% Vegan, Raw Options , Drive-Thruq

Cons: Slow Service , Limited Parking, Small Lot

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pretty amazing - Edit

This was my first vegan drive-thru experience. It was a little difficult due to the small parking lot but that's not their fault! My mom and I ordered the "honey" mustard chicken wrap, buffalo sandwich, chilli cheez fries, a side of fries, soft serve, lemonade, and root beer. Everything was pretty great. The wrap could've used more sauce and a little less veg, on the chilli cheez fries I would've rather had more cheez shreds rather than the "queso", but the buffalo burger, fries, almost serve were amazing!! Definitely check this place out!

Pros: drive-thru, lots of options

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a FIVE for first time experience! - Edit

As first timers it was an epic cultural experience to have this as our first San Diego vegan offering! EPIC. now I understand just a little more about why SD has the reputation that it has.

We ordered the mushroom Swiss burger, buffalo chicken strips, bacon cheeseburger, and fish tacos. French fries of course. Fresh coconuts and fish tacos took most of our little girls' attention (4&2yr old vegan kids from birth).

Five stars on fish tacos! Four on mushroom Swiss burger as the bean texture and flavor was great!

Then came the desserts...OFF THE CHARTS!
Chocolate cupcake EPIC!
Chocolate chip cookie DOUBLE EPIC!
Oatmeal cookie pretty darn good!

We're going back to hang in the cool chill vibe of the patio! Right on! From this New York City vegan family traveling with for the winter....we bow deeply to what you're doing. Thank You!

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Awesome vegan fast food - Edit

I've visited this place many many times while visiting my boyfriend in San Diego (I'm from the Netherlands, we've met in Japan). At first I was not too impressed, perhaps because my first visit was when I came straight from an 11 hour flight and the food was a bit too heavy on my stomach.

When I returned here during my second visit, I was finally convinced. Me and my boyfriend had the California Burrito and it's just too damn delicious. Especially with sweet potato fries as a side and raspberry yerba mate to drink. We've also tried some other dishes, including some desserts (pumpkin cheesecake), smoothies, juices and wraps to go. All of the food is incredibly tasty and well prepared. Also, it's not too expensive and you won't have to wait long for your order.

This place has become an absolute favorite of me and my boyfriend, I wish we had this kind of vegan fast food in the Netherlands. Or maybe not, because I would get fat for sure, lol.

Pros: tasty vegan fast food, desserts and smoothies

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Healthy Drive Thru Concept is the Best! - Edit

This place is my "go-to" for fresh, raw and healthy food any time I am remotely close to the Hillcrest, Downtown and Balboa Park areas of San Diego. The fact you can get it by driving thru and ordering is just a big extra plus IMHO. The raw tacos are my favorite, followed by the stuffed veggies and sweet potato fries. It pays to go inside and check out the dessert options in the grab-and-go refrigerated section too. I love this place and am so happy we have a pure alternative to unhealthy fast food places in San Diego - the city that spawned Jack-in-the-Box and is a "test kitchen" for McDonald's!!

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Miss it so much! - Edit

The restaurant itself did not knock my socks off honestly, but oh my gosh, that food! It was so delicious, I miss it so damn much because I had nothing alike since then.

The raw vegan stuff like the tacos are great, the cakes and the burgers as well. Everybody will find something tasty here and it was not pricey at all.

If you are in San Diego, don't miss out on this one! I even would visit San Diego once again only for Evolution :)

Pros: Absolutely great food, raw vegan options, cakes

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