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Pho888 – Asian Cuisine in Des Moines, IA

Words cannot accurately describe my infatuation with this delightful restaurant.  Pho888 is hidden in an old strip mall next to a tiny bus stop (1521 2nd Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314, USA), but provides flavor and craftsmanship rivaling that of world class cuisine.  Without fail, I walk out of Pho888 with a full stomach accompanied by an endorphin rush to make a heroine addict jealous, because this food is absolutely spectacular.  Also, a giant bowl of pho will only run you about $10, with the rest of the menu extremely affordable as well!  Speaking of their menu, Pho888 offers Thai, Laotian, Chinese, and of course Vietnamese food.

^This is #19, which is what I order every single time.

^Vermicelli #26 – Caitlin’s favorite.

As my cousin Ben said, “Pho is unlike any other food. I don’t get it. I think they put crack in it.”  Ben is the person who exposed me to Pho888 for the first time, and I’m hoping I can have such an impact on your life as well.  Pho888 may look unbecoming at first, but their appearance matches their humility as their only goal is to provide us with amazing food.

Established in 2010.

“Our goal is to deliver the best Asian restaurant in Des Moines.” – Pho888



I’m serious, follow these instructions when you order a bowl of pho.

  • Order #19… or #20 if you can eat way too much
  • Practice using chopsticks like an American by attempting, but failing to pick out ice cubes from your glass
  • Get excited for your food, only to watch it move past you to another table
  • Talk about how excited you are to eat pho (possibly for the first time)
  • Try to play it cool when your friend(s) say “OH! Our food’s coming out” because you’ve already been tricked once
  • Politely wait for the server to lay out all of the bowls and fixins
  • Now it’s time to prepare your pho
  • Rip up the greens [the thing you don’t recognize is culantro]
  • Toss everything from the side plate into your soup (only squeeze the lime in, discard the rind)  and stir to incorporate the goodness
  • Time for some sauce action
  • Drip a few drops of fish sauce in there… maybe four or five
  • Squirt in around a tablespoon of Hoisin sauce
  • Dollop on some sate chili sauce to taste (I do about a spoonful)
  • Make a spiral of Siracha from the outer edge to the center of the soup
  • Pepper pepper pepper
  • Mix it up
  • WAIT
  • Remove the Jalapeno
  • Take a big whiff, and talk about how pumped you are to eat this magical dish
  • Idk, take a snapfacestigram titled “LIT” with fire emojis surrounding the soup… whatever you people do these days
  • Text your friend(s) some stupid pun about how “PHOking good” this food is before you even eat it
  • Having rid your body of narcissism for the time being, cleanse yourself with the power of Eastern medicine.

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