The Tribeca Pronunciation Guide

BabestaI’ve updated the guide here because so many businesses have opened and closed. The back story of this guide is in the original post.

I stopped by or called every business with a name whose pronunciation could cause confusion—and there are a lot. Some will be obvious to you, but having been surprised several times, I decided to cast a wide net. I’m no expect at phonetics, so I did my best to make them as clear as possible. Put the stress where the italics are.

First, here are the Italian- (and Latin-) derived names.

• Marc Forgione for-jee-own
• Da Mikele dah mee-kay-leh
Scalini Fedeli skah-lee-nee feh-dell-ee
Tre Sorelle tray sohr-ell (In Italian, it’s pronounced tray sohr-ell-eh, but they Franco-Americanized it)
Sole di Capri soh-lay dee kah-pree
Tutto Il Giorno too-toh eel jyor-noh
Gran Morsi grahn mohr-see
Adoro Lei ah-dohr-oh lay

And on to the French/Franglais:

• Desbrosses Street I defer to historian Oliver E. Allen, author of Tribeca: A Pictorial History: “The Des is most likely Dess, and I’d say the brosses rhymes with bosses. It’s hard to say, though: It’s an Anglicization of a French name, and we don’t know how people pronounced it when they first converted it to English.” I didn’t ask, but I assume the accent is on “brosses.”
Albert Capsouto Park al-behr cap-soo-toh
• Bouley Botanical boo-lay
• Terroir teh-rwahr (they said “teh-rwah” was too pretentious)
Le Pain Quotidien leh pahn koh-ti-dee-yahn (the “n” at the end is more of an implication than an actual sound)
Racines NY rah-seen
La Garçonne lah gar-sohn
Bâtard bah-tard
Vin des Amis vehn dayz ah-mee
Jacadi zhawk-ah-dee
Belle Reve bell rev

Other foreign-derived names:

• Blaue Gans blau-eh gahnz
• Kaffe 1668 Kaffe is “coffee” in Swedish, but they say “café” like it’s French (and then “sixteen-sixty-eight”)
• Otte awt
The Odeon oh-dee-ahn
Jungsik yung shik
• Tribeca Issey Miyake eee-say mee-yah-kay
Zutto zoo-toh (the “zoo” is very quick)
Azabu ah-zah-boo
Nili Lotan nee-lee loh-tahn
Polarn O. Pyret poh-larn-oh-peer-eht
Aire Ancient Baths eye-ray
Benares ben-ahr-ehs
Shigure shih-guh-ray
Fika fee-kuh
A Uno Tribeca ay (rhymes with hey) ooh-noh
Stillfried Wien still-freed veen
Gunbae gun-bay
Añejo ah-nyay-ho
Abhaya ah-bye-uh
Livly liv-lee (the first syllable is “live” as in “and let die”)
Sapar Contemporary sah-pahr
Aahar Indian Cuisine ah-hahr
ONDA Beauty ahn-duh

And then there are names that aren’t foreign-derived (or might be but I have yet to look them up):

Laight Street “Laight is definitely Late.” —Oliver E. Allen
Smyth smith
Babesta bayb-stuh (like gangsta, but for babes)
Vesey Street vee-see (says Oliver E. Allen)
Fiterman Hall fit-er-mehn
Shinola shy-noh-luh
Gotan goh-tahn
James Perse purse
Bar Cyrk sirk
Arrojo ah-roh-joh
Alumnae ah-luhm-knee
Foundrae found-ray

A surprising number of businesses admitted that customers and suppliers often get their names wrong. Then again, many business said they didn’t care what you call them, just as long as you call them. If I missed any, let me know at



  1. This is great! Informative – I was surprised by Aire Ancient Baths and Babesta – and entertaining if read out loud.

  2. • Polarn O. Pyret poh-larn-oh-peer-eht

    We were saying “pirate” all this time! Will try to change but old habits die hard.

  3. there’s a few you’ve missed:

    Starbucks: ‘star’-bux.
    TD Bank: (this one’s tricky, as the TD isn’t “tud” but ‘tee-dee’
    Bed, Bath and Beyond: that’s ‘bee-yond’ as in ‘pond’
    Whole Foods: believe it or not that’s ‘hole’-fuuhds….
    and of course, “Closed: Landlord raised rent”…I’m not even sure how to pronounce that one. I think it’s “tri-beck-ah”

  4. Thanks for including “Vesey.” I’ve always thought “Ves-see” sounded wrong but so many people say it that way. Like all of the bus drivers.

  5. We call Le Pain Quotidien “Q-Diddy.” It’s easier.

  6. Now you have jumped the shark!!!!

  7. In Italian, the i in Forgione is only there to make the g soft.

    If someone at Marc Forgione gave you that phonetic pronunciation, then they don’t know how to say that man’s name. I don’t care if it’s Marc himself. It’s for-JONE-eh (long O, don’t say the E).

    J. Cataneo ( ca-TA-ney-o)