Miami, a city that was glamorized in “Miami Vice” and “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City,” recently inspired Eva Baker and husband Roland to open Vice City Bean in a neighborhood that either goes by Omni or the Media and Entertainment District, depending on which marketing campaign you embrace.
The airy space from two entertainment industry vets features a giant Erneste Maranje mural starring a tropical bird with fetching green plumage. A white two-group La Marzocco espresso machine and MadCap Coffee beans both contribute to their excellent Spro & Tonic ($4.50). A fresh-pulled double shot joins punchy East Imperial Burma Tonic over ice in a Collins glass with an orange peel garnish. The bright beverage is citrusy and mineral rich thanks to the tonic water, which contains quinine, cane sugar, Thai lemongrass and Manao lime.
I’ve enjoyed other espresso and tonic drinks around the country, including at Saint Frank Coffee in San Francisco, but prefer Vice City Bean’s version. Maybe that comes from drinking this spro & tonic in an setting with a history of so much danger both real and imagined.