A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Evolution Fast Food: 100% Vegan



BANKERS HILL.  Fast food that is good for you?  An oxymoron no longer, thanks to Evolution.   Located in Banker’s Hill at the corner of Quince Street and 5th Avenue, Evolution provides an entirely vegan menu with a vast selection of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, soups, smoothies, juices, baked goods, and ice cream.  I cannot cover them all.  This is a blog, not a book.  But I will highlight some of my favorites . . .

I love burgers.  Always have.  In fact, when I recently reconnected with an old friend, his immediate reaction to my vegan path was: “But your favorite food used to be cheeseburgers!”  Indeed.  So thank goodness for Evolution, where there is no “wrong choice” on the burger menu.  There are six ways to dress the burger – but I usually go for the Southwest Burger, packed with guacamole, jalapeno, lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa.

Then, you choose from two types of vegan patties.  For those who miss the “feel” of a meat patty, I recommend the “Gardein” patty, made from soy, wheat, quinoa, amaranth, and kamut.  Otherwise, the home made black bean patty is worth the extra dollar.  Also, if you are feeling ambitious, add an order of the sweet potato fries, served hot, crisp, and salty.


Evolution Vegan Burger and Fries


Putting the guilty pleasures aside for a moment, Evolution also has a “Raw Specialties” section with hyper nutritious options.   If you are interested in learning more about raw food – and the potential health benefits – click on the following link!


Evolution’s Raw Burger (I told you I love burgers!) is my favorite raw option in San Diego.  This “burger” is a ground nut and seed patty, topped with raw hummus, sprouts, and red onion, wrapped in a cabbage leaf.  After I eat it, I feel light and full at the same time.  And happy.


Evolution Raw Burger


What about desserts, you ask?  Don’t worry, Evolution dedicates an entire cold case to vegan brownies, cookies, crumbles, and more. On my most recent trip to Evolution, I tried the Raw Lime Tart, which is made from walnuts, coconut, agave, avocado, sea salt, lime juice, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.  The tart had a sticky and sweet crust, and the lime layer was sweet and tart.  Again, happy.


Evolution Vegan Lime Tart


Then there are the juices and the shakes!  (This is the danger of Evolution.  If you are disciplined, you can manage lunch for under ten dollars.  Otherwise, hand them your credit card and look away.)  My new favorite shake is the Mystic Monk.  You choose soy or almond milk, which is blended with chocolate powder, banana, and tahini.  Yes, tahini.  Which made me both curious and skeptical.  But I should have had faith in Evolution’s smoothie scientists, because the Mystic Monk surpasses the classic chocolate milk shake.  The chocolate is strong, but the tahini curbs the sweet before it becomes too sweet.  Bottom line, it is delicious, and I will be having another one soon!


Evolution Vegan Mystic Monk Shake


Although it is hard to imagine becoming bored with Evolution’s menu, they offer daily specials and a variety of pre-made “take away” options that are not listed on the menu.


Evolution Special's BoardEvolution "Take Away" Shelves


In the true spirit of fast food, Evolution provides a drive thru window for those customers who are short on time


Evolution Drive Thru Window


If you do have time to stay and eat, I would suggest taking advantage of Evolution’s outdoor patio.  It is a great spot to enjoy the food, the people, and the day.  It’s also a great spot to bring your dog!


Evolution Outdoor Patio


2965 5th Ave

San Diego, CA 92103



  • Connie says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you about the raw burger. I had it last night and I am going back today for more.

    • emily says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the burger!! Everything at Evolution is delicious, so I hope you continue to enjoy it!

  • Truman says:

    This restaurant is incredible! It is everything a vegan could want and more. You hit the nail on the head by saying “Fast food that is good for you? An oxymoron no longer…” I just ate there today and they actually have a 3rd burger patty that is made from Tempeh. I had the mushroom Swiss burger and it was hands down one of the best vegan or non vegan burgers for that matter I’ve ever had. The pricing is also very reasonable. I will definitely be going back.

  • jay says:

    LOVED the cheeseburger and the sweet potato chips. I’m wondering if you have nutrition information posted anywhere?

    • emily says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the cheeseburger and sweet potato chips. I don’t think Evolution posts its nutrition information. If you find it, let me know and I would be happy to post it!!

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