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Evolution Fast Food

  • Friend
  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 102 reviews )
Contact 619-550-1818

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 (102)

First Review by divine_health

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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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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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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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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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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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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Lovely little place - Edit

We ate in the patio garden, a tempeh burger, vegetarian chili and sweet potato fries. Yummy, friendly staff, sweet little patio - very much worth a visit.

Pros: vegan/healthy/raw options & inexpensive, patio seating, yummy

Cons: Intercom announcement of order

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I love Evolution - Edit

I have tried their chicken sandwiches and their burgers and enjoyed both. Their desserts and shakes are also amazing and don't make me miss real dairy one bit. I could eat here every day and be happy.

Pros: Amazing vegan sandwiches, Amazing vegan desserts, Drive through option

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Delicious and quick vegan food! - Edit

Had a fantastic vegan bacon cheeseburger to go here on a visit from Portland last year. Tons of great-looking options, was recommended to me by a friend who used to live in San Diego.

Pros: Flavorful, Good prices

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Must go!! - Edit

If you are in San Diego and have a craving for some amazing food, you must stop in here. The food is fast food-ish and they also have a cold case of to-go items (which I will hit up next time). The menu is extensive, vegan, and absolutely delicious. They have a lovely patio area and the restaurant is super close to Balboa Park. You can get there by bus from downtown, might have to walk a few blocks but totally worth it.

Pros: Delicious, Lots of choices, To Go Case

Cons: Not being able to try everything!

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This is where you go to eat in San Diego - Edit

Amazing food. I was on vacation so I definitely was looking for savory comfort food and this place was perfect. They also had lots of healthy vegan options for all the health conscious vegans. Only good things to say about this place, warm staff, super nice dining area, incredible fake meats (battered chicken sandwich was out of control) tasty deserts (peach cobbler was incredible). If you are staying downtown by the convention center it's a short ride bus ride, definitely worth it. Downtown San Diego isn't super vegan friendly, but this is definitely the spot, one of the best restaurants ive been to.

Pros: Delicious food, period, All vegan menu, Great smoothies, kamboucha on tap

Cons: None, San Diego needs more of this

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This restaurant has the best vegan burgers and fries I ever had. If you're in San Diego, don't miss out on this! I had a burger with a Tempeh patty and fries, and my boyfriend had a wrap, we both loved the food and went there 2 nights in a row. They also have loads of take away stuff (Salads, wraps, sandwiches) and tasty vegan cookies and cakes. Staff was very friendly and helpful. They also have a lovely quiet seating area which is not visible from the outside. Ohne of the best vegan restaurants I've ever been. :)

Pros: Lovely seating area, loads of desserts and take away, enough parking spaces

Cons: quite far from city center

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Lovely place - Edit

I was happy to find this place in San Diego, not particularly known for animal friendly attractions ;) we ordered a cheese burger and a Swiss cheese burger with mushrooms which were really good, much more like real food than the vegan options at some other burgerplaces. As a Side we had delicious chili cheese fries and both a strawberry milkshake which was really good, like what you would expect from a milkshake other than the soymilk with some blended bananas vegan places sometimes serve. Also the atmosphere and seating was really nice!

Pros: Good food, Nice atmosphere

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Worth the effort to go to! - Edit

As others have said, this place is awesome!
DOWNSIDE- again, everything in take-away even though there's a huge sitting in area. At least from memory they'd made some sort of attempt to separate trash.

I'm not an overly health conscious vegan, so eating here was perfect for us! I loved the chick'n burger (I can't remember which one) and we did make the effort to come back again before we left town.

We caught a bus here from the town center- it does take a while as it's on a busy route and stops SO OFTEN (like 20min trip) but it is so worth it :)

Pros: the food

Cons: disposable everything :(

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amazing - Edit

As a raised meat eater and vegetarian/vegan by choice I have to say that this food makes me wish I had eaten here sooner. It tastes better then meat and makes my carnivore friends jealous. My daughter is a picky 3 year old and she was in love. We got the in n out style burger with fries and a vanilla cupcake. I'm going back for dinner tonight.

Pros: lots of options, sweets, love the outdoor seating

Cons: needs to be closer to me

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vegan - Edit

This is fast food for the most part, which is great when you are in a hurry. But eating fast, processed food is just that. This is not whole-food-plant-based vegan dining. This is a great place to go if you are jonesing for meat substitutes. They should provide a nice seating environment. It is a drive-through fast food joint. As a vegan, I want to support it, but I also want whole-food-plant-based meals, not fast food.

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Great Idea! - Edit

I have always wanted a drive through healthy veggie spot to stop at on a road trip! Evolution has a great set-up. Raw Tacos were awesome, the himalayan smoothie was VERY tastey. This place is also affordable and quick!

Pros: Affordable, healthy, good intentions

Cons: none

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  Contributions +43

oh my vegan!! - Edit

This place is so cool! Why? DRIVE THROUGH!!! When you travel with two kids things like these just make your day better....enough of that! Let's talk FOOD! I give this place 5 starts, so far it has become my favorite place to eat. Burgers are so big, delicious and juicy! I've had the buffalo chicken and the bacon cheese burger also the kale salad is to die for (and I'm not a big fan of kale). Whatever you do you MUST try that vanilla shake!
The place is big, it has parking space and an outside patio to eat at. Customer service has been great so far, I'm glad I found this place.

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Great food - Edit

My husband and I shared a bacon cheeseburger and some buffalo chick'n tenders, both were really nice. In fact my husband said that it was the best burger he ever had! The bacon on the burger was really unusual (in a good way), I think maybe they made it themselves. We also bought a cheesecake and cupcake to take back to our hotel, I wasn't really keen on the cheesecake (my husband enjoyed it) but the cupcake was very tasty. We would have really liked to go back a second time but it was pretty far from our hotel and we were only in San Diego for 2 nights.

Pros: Good value, Excellent food

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My vegan family loved eating here - Edit

Excellent choice and something for everyone. The have raw and healthy foods but we were here for burgers, fries and shakes for our first vegan all American fast food experience. We loved it and can't fault anything we had. We came for dinner and lunch the next day too and tried a range of burgers, shakes etc and liked them all. We all probably preferred their fake meat patty but all their patties were good. It is central and close to the Balboa Park and has some on site parking.

Pros: tasty All American vegan food, nice staff, great soft serve ice cream

Cons: there is only one outlet

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Delicious and fast! - Edit

Just as the name suggests, this is fast food! It was also very delicious and contained many interesting items on the menu. I had the raw burger, an amazing smoothie, and stuffed veggies, which was a very filling and satisfying meal.

This restaurant really has the feel of a fast food restaurant, something I don't find often with vegan places and something I really enjoyed!

Additionally, I came here with my omnivorous parents who also approved of the food. I especially enjoyed my smoothie.

Finally, I have a corn allergy, to which they were very accommodating. The server even grabbed the bag of buns so I could check over some ingredients myself, which I very much appreciated. Gluten-free options are also plentiful.

They also have vegan soft serve and desserts, which I didn't have a chance to try but which looked amazing!

Pros: Excellent food, Good value, Accommodating of food allergies

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Faboulous - Edit

We went here after a day at the zoo. I am juicing and needed juice before sitting somewhere with my two meat-eating friends. We found Evolution. I ordered two juices which were good and made fresh. My friends were hungry and ended up ordering the lentil soup, veggie burgers, fries, and chili (all vegan). They were very surprised by how delicious the food was and loved it. So, this restaurant is approved by two true meat eaters for deliciousness. The atmosphere is terrific....really nice seating area. Great menu. I wish they had more juice options, but it worked.

Pros: Great food, Good service

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vegan McD's - Edit

Evolution was a fun experience - drive in with your order announced over loud speaker. We got the chilli cheese fries and the bacon cheeseburger. The fries were good, except for the cheese being unmelted (non-vegan cousin was not impressed). My burger smelled and tasted scarily like McDonald's, but in a good way. Also got a massive almond-based soft serve, so left very full.

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Very nice vegan fast food - Edit

We had burgers, a "South of the Border" and "Mushroom Swiss". Both were really good. We also had fries (also good) and a smoothie. At first sip, I wasn't particularly impressed with the smoothie, but then I tried it again and it tasted much nicer. I'm going to blame my taste buds for that first sip, since it was the same smoothie.

Service was pretty casual. You order, and wait for your name to be called. Patio seating was really nice.

Pros: Good food, Friendly

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Worth the cab fare! - Edit

While at a conference at the convention center I grabbed a cab to go pick up a house made burger fries and some daily greens. The fare was just over $20 but it was totally worth it! I prefer the fries to the sweet potatoes because they are more like chips but everything was yummy. Highly recommended for a burger fix!

Pros: all vegan, fresh juice, great burgers

Cons: sweet potato chips not fries

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Great Vegan Fast Food - Edit

I have only been here once. (I don't live in the area.)

I used the drive though, I am not sure if there is seating inside. I ordered the vegan mushroom Swiss burger, sweet potato fries, tropical sunrise shake, and some cupcakes.

I the burger and fries were great, and a bit messy. Fast food vegan style. I enjoyed the shake. I didn't get the cupcakes I ordered, and forgot to double check my order, so I am not sure how they would have been.

All and all, I would go here again, but would make sure to double check my order.

Pros: Drive-through, Daiya cheese, Fast Food

Cons: Didn't get whole order

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Good vegan fast food - Edit

Went to Evolution once while in San Diego, ordered the house bean burger patty but got the Gardein, which I don't particularly like. Also got some sort of carne asada burrito special, which was made with Gardein also and very salty. I kinda think if we would have ordered something different we would have enjoyed it more, and also if we had gotten the bean patty like we ordered. Overall, I'd definitely go back and try something else.

Pros: all vegan, affordable, laid back

Cons: lots of soy, indifferent staff, salty food

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Cheap And Cheerful - Edit

The interior and exterior look a bit grotty, but the food was hard to fault. Ranch dressing and zingy cilantro were fabulous. Cookies for dessert were very nice.
Queues can be a bit long.
Salad box was fully packed, but wasn't tossed so was a bit of a challenge to eat.
Worth visiting after the zoo.

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So yummy! - Edit

I was in SD for only 2 days and went to Evolution both days. I got the Mushroom Swiss Burger with "bacon" strips added, and my non-vegan friend got the "Bacon" Cheese burger and LOVED it. Said she couldn't tell the difference. The people there were warm (even tho it was raining!), inviting and just really nice. Sara in particular, who made this amazing Pumpkin "ice cream" that she said she made "with love". So cool.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday October 19, 2010
Went again 11/23/2012, didn't stay, seems a bit grittier than before. Not a comfortable setting at all especially for my disabled Mom. No friendly smiles, no warm welcome....so disappointing we didn't even stay to eat. Maybe under different management?? Just didn't feel right.

Pros: Yummy food

Cons: VERY fast foodish, No comfortable seating

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Great Vegan place - Edit

Evolution has a drive through but in addition you can order inside at the counter. Very friendly staff and a great selection of all vegan and raw food. My favorite is the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich but their Shakes and Smoothies are very good as well.
Fast service and great deserts to take home or eat there.

Pros: friendly staff, good prices, great food

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I Wasn't Too Impressed - Edit

Went here for the first time today, I was excited to go because its vegan and fast food so it sounded like a good idea. I tried the chili cheese fries and I really did not like them, they tasted too much like real chili and had too many beans in it. My friend had the taco roll ups and the tortillas were hard and tough. I tried a vanilla shake and it was not the best. Overall, I would say skip this place. Did not meet expectations.

Cons: not the best food , expensive for such lousy food

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Fast, tasty, and healthy! - Edit

I needed a quick meal before heading to the airport, and this little jewel popped up on Happy Cow as a choice close by. The veggie burger with guac and salsa smelled heavenly and tasted great. I just wish I had found this place earlier in my trip. The food was ready in 5 minutes!

Pros: Fast, Healthy, Good snacks for travel

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cute, fun, drive thru - Edit

A cute little shop that always has a line of cars through the drive thru. I got Buffalo Chickn with ranch dressing. That ranch dressing was to die for. And onion rings. I was happy. There use to be retail vegan onion rings but I discovered they are no longer - what a piss off.
The dessert section wasn't too exciting but I had a mini muffin that was apparently fat free and it was a nice few bites.
They have the chia cherry lime drink that I think is so cool and a good variety of food to grab and go.
I think it was a little bit of a let down (is all their faux meat Gardien?) because I really hyped it up in my mind but it was tasty.

Pros: quick food

Cons: small parking lot

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My new favorite! - Edit

The food was phenomenal. I have tasted a lot of good vegetarian food and this is up there with the best. I had the bacon cheeseburger, my sis-in-law had the pesto burger, my brother had the buffalo chicken strips and the kids had the taco roll-ups. Nobody was disappointed. I will definitely be returning. Never tasted a veggie patty quite like that. Very good flavor and they don't skimp on the portions. I can't wait to try something else.

Pros: Fresh food, Delicious, Friendly

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So exciting!! - Edit

I was so excited for VEGAN fast food!! I tried many of their items while in town on vacation because I am the only vegan in my family. (they all eat meat) I LOVED the chocolate "milk" shake! The chili cheese fries (while very good) scared me because they resemble meat so much o.o I was disappointed that I forgot to ask for the house made veggie burger because the one I did get was just a weird soy protein thing :P While in town I also tried the raw tacos. Omg they were so goooood! The thing I was most disappointed about was their sweet potato fries. They were just thinly cut soggy chips. Mine were so greasy they literally had pools of oil on them! But all in all I would definitely go back!! Worth a visit definitely :)

Pros: Chocolate "milk" shake , Raw tacos

Cons: Sweet potato fries

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Would definitely return - Edit

This is a tiny little restaurant with a hidden garden dining area tucked to the side. I had the BBQ chikn sandwich and my husband had the chili cheese fries and a salad. Everything was terrific and prepared quickly. The homemade ketchup is so good, we almost asked if they sold it so we could take some to go.

Pros: filling food, drive through, impressed a nonvegan

Cons: very hot inside, a little pricey

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A favorite in San Diego - Edit

I've been to Evolution at least 6 times and their food never fails to impress me. I've ordered the Mushroom Swiss, the South of the Border, the regular Burger, the Bacon Cheeseburger, etc, and all were delicious and large. The housemade patty is fantastic. The service is slow compared to fast food chains but well worth the wait and justified. The prices are reasonable (average 6$ for a burger) and the staff are friendly. I've tried several of the housemade snacks and they are all delicious and filled with whole ingredients. The only thing I would change about this place is the parking, while there is parking down the street the lot next to the restaurant is small and often crammed. If you're hungry and anywhere near balboa park, come to Evolution. It's well worth the trip.

Pros: Quality, Price, Service

Cons: Parking

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Evolution - Edit

It was nice to go to a fast food restaurant that was completely vegan. The bacon cheeseburger was excellent, and south of the border are for those who like a little bit of a kick. There is an outside patio to sit which is cozy.

Cons: Difficult to substitute for other items, Don't expect fast food prices, Somewhat friendly staff

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Vegan fast food - Edit

I recently went there on my attempt to introduce vegan options in my diet. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The food I must comment on. I tried a wrap. It tasted fresh and somewhat tasty compared to what I'm used to. As I got in my car and headed into my commute home in rush hour traffic, my stomach began to churn. After 20 minutes I seriously reconsidered how I was to begin this conversion process as I had to go to the bathroom FAST with no place in sight for me to run into. I didn't make it :( Needless to say this was one of those episodes most people don't want to brag about. As for me, I might give this place one more try but from now on I will not do so without a restroom close by.

Pros: healthy cuisine, friendly staff

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Evolution Approved. - Edit

My sister suggested going to Evolution as a family, I ordered a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. The place has a unique and artsy feel. The cashier was very friendly, and the food was Delicious. The ketchup was really good, it didn't taste all sugary and artificial.I've definitively gone back many more times. My whole family loved it. And I even rode the bus with sister just to go.

Pros: friendly staff, healthy cuisine, excellent food

Cons: no delivery

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Decent fast food - Edit

My friend and I hitchhiked to San Diego one weekend, and were completely starving; Evolution seemed like an awesome vegan option, and the price was right. While the service was friendly, the portions of both our meals were small in relation to the price (I chose the "chicken" fingers, which were horribly greasy and in no way filling). We both ended up buying seconds. I got the breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled tofu/salsa/potatoes/veggies, and this time it was definitely worth the value.

Pros: friendly staff, quick

Cons: hit and miss portions, not easily accessible with bus system

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Baja Burger balck bean style - Edit

Ok, I am hooked on their Baja Burger with the black bean patty. I have actually only gotten that one thing everytime I have gone there until recently. With the Baja I buy the Tahini dressing to slather all over it. It is not only delicious but so satisfying and filling. Got to get their sweet potatoe fries too. They make the ketchup there. Anyway, last week there was a special that I can't remember the name. It was a "chicken" patty with a spicy twist. Wow! it was neck and neck with my beloved Baja. Something tells me you can't really go wrong here. I only wish they would open up one in Encinitas. That would ROCK!

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100% vegan joint - Edit

I liked the seasoning on my fries and the bacon cheeseburger was pretty good. I also had a smoothie and the cost was 19$ I don't complain about quality food Being charged a fair amount but I do expect a much cleaner appearing restaurant, especially. The bathroom. It was funky. I would go back though.

Pros: selection , 100% vegan

Cons: aesthetics

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no bike delivery... - Edit

Their website reports that they have bike delivery, and I (being a strict vegan who only eats from veg kitchens) planned my trip to San Diego around that. They don't have bike delivery. Being the only veg kitchen around I had no option but to walk 2 miles up there even though I really didn't have the time. Once I got there they totally messed up my order and tried to make it seem like it was my fault. I have to believe that there are some disgruntled workers there because I don't understand how you can mess up something as simple as 2 veggie burgers add avocado and 2 fries, but they did. I only had one order of fries, and I later discovered that only one of the veggie burgers had avocado even though I was charged for it on both. Also, I asked for it to be packaged well for walking and was given a small soggy brown bag loaded down with the food. I travel rather frequently and this was my worst customer service experience at a veg restaurant. When I told the woman (short dark hair, tells awful "jokes") about my missing fries she denied me having ordered 2 orders and told me "I'll have to charge you for those" and that it would take 5 minutes to prepare. I just left without the fries. The food was way overpriced for the size and mediocre at best. Larger vegans will need to spend 15 dollars or more to fill up here.

(I've had to rate this as 2 cows because it won't let me rate it any lower.)

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such nice staff. - Edit

two things i got hooked on here... buffalo chicken tenders, and the soft serve. the soft serve portion is very generous... and the tenders... soo good. a great opportunity to get drive through then go picnic up in the park... although the semi-indoor seating area out back is really cute.

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vegan awesomeness - Edit

great! just the fact that an all vegan drive-thru exists is great but the food is really good too. I had the mushroom swiss burger which came wrapped in a brown, greasy, brown piece of paper and that's it; just like a take-out burger joint should be. They offer three options for type of burger "meat". I chose the Garden one which was touted as the more meatier version and included quinoa and other grains but they feature Amy's vegan patties and an in-house-made bean burger. I was also given a "sample" (almost a full glass full) of a smoothie with chocolate, tahini, banana, and soy milk...which was also awesome. Will go back.

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Almost Fast Food - Edit

There food comes quick, but probably 5 times slower than real fast food outlets. I'm ok with that because it's still probably faster than a restaurant and everything I tried was really really good. My favorite was the grilled chicken sandwich (which may just be a special but if you see it, buy it). Also a point to mention is the soft serve ice cream: it's yummy. We were here 4 to 5 times and I never got anything I didn't really enjoy. Another thing to note, the parking spots are small (and we drive a first generation insight).

Pros: Great location (for people in San Diego), Great food, Big enough menu

Cons: No free refillable water?

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Excellent Vegan fast food - Edit

Great Vegan burgers, sandwiches, and sweet potato fries. I love bringing carnivores here to show them how tasty Vegan food can be. I really love buffalo chicken and their sandwich is fantastic, just the right amount of lettuce,tomato and Vegan cheese. Their veggies are always fresh, and the service is always friendly. They have seating in the back, but most of the time I take my food across the street to Balboa Park and eat my sandwich on a blanket in the grass, very peaceful. I love the food, and the location. Also the price is right for me.

Pros: Many options, All vegan, Friendly

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Excellent Food and Service! - Edit

I was in San Diego over the weekend and Happy Cow gave this place great reviews. I have to agree with everyone else. Seating is limited so nab a spot outside as soon as you can. Same with parking. We arrived early (they open at 11am) and were first in line when the doors opened. However a second later there was a line out the door. I guess it's a popular place. I was going to try something off the menu but instead I went with the daily special, A bomb-tastic breakfast burrito filled will soyrizo, scrambled tofu, potatoes, salsa and spinach. It was worth the 5.95 and was massive! My friends tried the burgers and I have to say the BBQ Chick'n Burger was a bit small to me but the Portabella Sandwich was huge and delicious (i got to have a bite!)

In past reviews people were complaining about the service but the girl at the counter was cordial, friendly and very helpful. I tried a milkshake on my way out (first vegan milkshake ever) and it was very good. If you're in San Diego I recommend you try this place it was definitely worth it.

Pros: fast yummy food, good service

Cons: limited seating, limited parking

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great concept, great place - Edit

a burger place with a twist. if you like vegetarian food, this is a great place to stop. it's central in San Diego, the whole menu is vegetarian, service is quick and friendly, very informal, great burgers and other food.

Pros: wide menu, all veggie, fast food

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Great burgers! - Edit

I ate at Evolution Fast Food last weekend and was impressed overall. I never know what to expect with vegan fast food places but this one exceeded any expectation I had. I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger with regular fries - I believe it came with Daiya, Vegenaise, tomato, lettuce, etc. - and my friend ordered the South of the Border Burger with sweet potato fries. We paid at the counter and proceeded to the dining area (it was huge) and found an outdoor patio to sit at - we really enjoyed the patio and appreciated the beautiful flowers surrounding it. I have no complaints about my burger because it was GREAT!!! The patty and toppings went together very well and left me wanting more(but there was no way I could eat another burger). My friend also enjoyed her burger and loved her sweet potato fries, which looked more like chips to me. To top it off, the food was soooo cheap! I definitely recommend EFF for your next vegan fast food fix!

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Nom! - Edit

Although I believe that all 100% vegan restaurants deserve 5 cow heads, I realize that would be impractical with the goal of the rating system. That being said, I am giving Evolution 4 heads because while 2 of the 3 burgers I tried were very good, the pesto burger left much to be desired. And unfortunately, that was the burger I ordered. It was too dry for my taste & I couldn't taste the pesto. My omnivore friends got the bacon cheesebyrger which we all agreed was very tasty & the portabella sandwich which was my favorite of the three- even though I got some delicious drippings on my clothes.

We also tried the tropical sunrise smoothie, which was alright. I didn't really taste all of the ingredients and was hoping the ginger would have more of a pop. We all very much enjoyed their delicious raspberry almond cheesecake. It was a great blend of tartness, a not-too-rich cheezyness and a delicious crunchy/flaky almond crust.

I also really liked the fried slices of sweet potatoes much better than the fry shape I have had at other restaurants, & the accompanying ranch sauce was aMAZing.

Pros: outdoor seating, nice neighborhood, delicious desserts

Cons: service was a little slow/i was hungry!, bland smoothie, dry pesto burger

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A drive-thru?????? We had to see this - Edit

Coming from a country with just one vegan restaurant(that only since last year) this place was like mc donalds back in the time in childhood where this was the biggest!!! So the excitement made us order the cheeseburger, bacon burger, chickn tenders(normal ones and some with a sauce covering, some chips, strawberry shake, a carrot-apple-Gingerjuice and raspberry cheesecake. I had enough for the whole day but it was just perfect!!!! Delicious fast food with really nice and fast staff!

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Awesome location and pretty good food! - Edit

What an amazing find for ComicCon! Pretty decent food, fast service, walking distance (long walk, but still) from the convention center. Highly recommended!

Pros: Great selection, Tasty items., Fast service.

Cons: 0 ambience, Crappy parking

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yummy and close to Balboa - Edit

Visiting the park. Didn't see many healthy choices for lunch. Found this place. Great food. I got the mushroom Swiss Burger with sweet potato fries. The rest of my family got Bacon cheese burgers and shakes. We all loved this place.

Pros: good variety, great tasting items, good prices

Cons: outside seating or 5 indoor stools

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all around amazing - Edit

Cheeseburger (substitute black bean burger) with sweet potato fries. I took it to go and the fries were almost gone before I left the parking lot. This place is magical. Really awesome desserts (mocha cheesecake & pumpkin pecan cheesecake--fooled my dairy-eating family, seriously!) and fresh juice. This place speaks my language.

I've been a vegan for about 6 months and when I first came to Evolution I was astounded that I could order anything off the menu. That has not happened to me since I became a vegetarian almost 9 years ago! Good stuff. The staff is totally spaced out but got my order right even with my modifications, so A+ there.

I would recommend this place to anyone looking for good food, period. Veg or not, this place is worth a try and it definitely surpassed my expectations! TRY THE DESSERTS! ALL OF THEM!

Pros: wide variety of choices, really good desserts, fresh juices

Cons: not much seating space

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Veg in San Diego - Edit

We finally found Loving Hut in San Diego and it is closed on Sundays so we decided to hit up Evolution near Balboa Park. It now has a walk up area so you don't have to use the drive thru which I like. It's tiny so if there are a few people sitting at the counter inside be prepared to eat outdoors. The service was ok. The funny thing that happened was I gave the girl my name, Gina, and she came looking for me saying China then Chino. I was like, Gina? Sweet potato fries were kind of cold. Chix fingers were my favorite. They are a must try if you go. Overall, not bad. Being a vegan I'm grateful there is even a place to go where no thinking about ingredients is involved.

Pros: close to park, all vegan

Cons: too small

1 Response

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MrsVeganPizza 26 Mar 2012 - LOL, I had a good chuckle about them butchering your name because they did the same for me except that unlike my name, your name is easy to pronounce so I have no idea why they butchered it so badly. The thing is I've had my name pronounced every which way, but they somehow came up with a new one I've never heard before! But really that is quite a leap from Gina to Chino! Haha, thanks again for the laugh.

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Great good, great staff - Edit

We came here at the end of our American adventure, and still weren't quite over the sheer amount of options (as opposed to those in Australia). So a vegan fast food joint was always going to score well.

We tried the bacon cheeseburger and 'south of the border' burger, both of which were delicious- even if I made a bit of a mess with the latter. The shakes we had to go with them weren't the best I've had- too icy for me- but the sweet potato fries and brownies more than made up for that. By far the best brownie I've ever had.

The staff here were also some of the nicest we found anywhere on our trip. We had a nice long chat about where we were from and where we'd been, and they offered us some of the durian they were snacking on out the back. A really great experience all around.

Pros: Delicious burgers, Best brownie, Friendly staff

Cons: Icy shakes

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Great Tasting Vegan Fast Food - Edit

This place certainly delivers on it's promise of Vegan Fast Food, their burger menu is complete with bacon cheese burgers, pesto burgers and cheese burgers. The chilli cheese fries were amazing, and they know what they are doing. Their main selling point is their burger menu, and they seemed to have a wide selection of vegan desserts too, as well as some raw platters - so they cater for every niche.

The parking is excellent and it's so close to Balboa park, you can take you food across the street and have a picnic if you like. This place has a vibe that reminds me of Empire Records!

Pros: Great Taste, Free Parking, Beautiful Surroundings

Cons: A little crowded

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Loved It!!!!! - Edit

This is my first visit to Evolution Fast Food. I went with my husband and two daughters all of who aren't veg (I'm Vegan). I was very excited because I got to sample everyone else's food. I never get to do that! My oldest daughter and I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger with the house patty and we both thought it was great. My youngest ordered the Raw Burger. She loved the taste but could only eat half because she thought it was too spicy althought I didn't think so and ate the rest for a snack later on. My husband ordered Mushroom Swiss Burger with the house patty and I have to say that was my favorite of the three. We then shared a Tiramisu Cupcake. It was Delicious! The service was friendly and fast. The only thing I would change is that I would like to be able to order a smaller portion of fries. I will definitely visit again as soon as possible.

Pros: Delicious, Friendly, Fast

Cons: Too many fries

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Yes, it's a VEGAN restaurant! - Edit

While planning for a trip to San Diego, I was happy to find so many vegetarian friendly restaurants. When I got to Evolution, I noticed the menu indicated it's "100% Vegetarian", so I asked if the food was vegetarian vs. vegan since I thought I'd read somewhere it was a VEGAN restaurant. The guy behind the counter asked, "What's the difference?". I thought he was kidding. He was not- he said he was a meat eater & really didn't know the difference! You would think an employee working at a vegan place, would know what vegan means. I explained, and discovered that is is indeed vegan. Therefore I knew it was safe to order "cheese" on my burger. I was a bit discouraged with the vegetarian vs. vegan incident, but the food was really great! My cheeseburger really hit the spot. The fries were wonderful, the sweet potato chips were OK- many burnt ones. The best though was the peanut butter pie! Yummy!

Pros: food is great, variety of vegan food choices, desserts-need I say more?

Cons: small inside area for ordering, no inside eating, vegan vs. vegetarian

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I love this place! - Edit

I've only been here twice because I live in Redlands and only visit San Diego once a month, but I'm SO glad I found this place!
They have some food (mostly wraps, sandwiches, and some other things), deserts, juices/teas already made in cooler type things in the store, and a variety of options from their menu like burgers, fries, sandwiches/wraps, pizzas, shakes/smoothies, and deserts, as well as a daily special. Everything's vegan, and they have some raw options as well.
Anyway, moving on. The service is fast and friendly, the prices are affordable, the portions are good, the food gets to you fast, and it is SO GOOD!
The first time I went I had a bacon cheeseburger, which was unbelievably good, and strawberry cheesecake for desert - super yummy.
Second time, I had their daily special, a breakfast burrito with tofu, potatoes, guacamole & salsa, which was also delish and amazing chili cheese fries, and raw lemon coconut cheesecake which was seriously mouthwatering good. My friends who've eaten here with me all agree, Evolution has incredible food, at affordable prices. Overall, I can't say enough good things about this place.
Go there!!

Pros: amazing food, friendly staff, affordable

Cons: none

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Wonderful!!! - Edit

One of the challenges of being vegan is finding good food while travelling. If you're in San Diego, look no further than Evolution. I could eat there morning, noon and night and not run out of options! I stopped in tonight for a quick dinner and wasn't disappointed. The staff is friendly and helpful, the selection of both main course and desserts are extensive, and the location is great. The outdoor eating area is a pleasant place to eat. I highly recommend the "bacon cheeseburger" and the sweet potato fries. And don't forget the chocolate shake! I wasn't a huge fan of the cheesecake, but their strawberry mango crisp was excellent. I just wish I had more time to go back and try some other options. And they have a drive through! It's a great idea to be able to get healthy, tasty vegan fast food. And they are affordable. They are a must if you're in the area.

Pros: Selection, Price, Desserts!

Cons: None

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WOW!!! - Edit

My husband and I were recently in San Diego. Before we left we researched some vegetarian/vegan places. The food was out of this world. I wish there were places like Evolution in Australia.

I had a 'chicken' sandwich with sweet potato chips. I could have eating 10 more they were so good.

Shop has inside and outside eating areas, could maybe do with a make-over to modernise and make the eating areas more homey/earthy. Was very quiet but they seem to have their regulars who really enjoy the food. Lots to choose from, from self-serve buffet to made to order food. Large variety of healthy drinks.

Would definently go back if it is still there the next time we visit.

Pros: great food, variety

Cons: eating area needs improvements

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Evolution is great - Edit

Evolution has a buffet inside that has hot and cold foods as well as daily soup selections. They offer pizzas, burgers, fries, chik-n strips and all the typical "bad" for you fried stuff in the drive thru (and inside). They also have smoothies, wraps and all kinds of treats. I've eaten there about 5 times and the food is consistently good. The service is always great. They have a nice outdoor area under the trees. They also have live music on certains nights which can be found on their website or facebook page. I definitely recommend trying this restaurant.

Pros: drive thru vegan!, great food, great service

Cons: buffet is pricey

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