There's something special about going topless in the summer — as far as bars and restaurants go, of course. Sipping a cold cocktail and munching on a burger with fries just tastes so much better without a roof over your head. Too many places, however, will gladly charge scenery-seekers an arm and a leg for a substandard cocktail and less-than-spectacular vistas. So, to help you out, we checked out 5 of our favorite New York City rooftop bars, that are actually worth your precious summer evenings.

1. The Plunge

beer, bacon
Weichen Yan

Situated in the heart of the charming Gansevoort district of the West Village, The Plunge at the Gansevoort Hotel offers breathtaking views of West Village and Chelsea, as well as across the river overlooking Jersey. Our pick of their cocktails is the Grapefruit Cosmo: belvedere grapefruit vodka, triple sec, grapefruit, cranberry. Super refreshing and perfect for the warm summer months. They also have a fabulous burger and fantastic fries - the perfect foods to pair with your cocktails.

2. Tavern 29

arugula, cheese
Weichen Yan

Tavern 29 is centrally located on the bustling Park Avenue. A little different from your average rooftop bar, the downstairs of Tavern 29 is a rustic Biergarten. But, head upstairs to the rooftop for something a little more summery. They have a fantastic food menu, too: we highly recommend the parmesan truffle fries. Our pick of their cocktails is Lady Liberty's Right Hand: Dorothy Parker Gin, Cucumber Juice, Yellow Chartreuse, Elderflower Liquor, Lime Juice, with a Crème de Violette finish.

3. Cantina Rooftop

cocktail, juice, ice, alcohol, liquor
Weichen Yan

Have you ever brunched on a rooftop? Cantina Rooftop is in the heart of Hell's Kitchen, and offers amazing views of the city surrounds. They have an awesome brunch menu on weekends featuring Mexican-inspired dishes like their signature burger with over easy egg, guac, lettuce, tomato and onions, and of course a killer Huevos Rancheros. Make sure you get the Frozen Mexican-Bulldog Margarita — and bring friends to share!

4. Blue Ribbon Kanpai Garden

Blue Ribbon Kanpai Garden is situated in the stylish SIXTY LES Hotel, on the border between the Lower East Side and the East Village. It's an intimate spot with low rise communal tables, and of course, an awesome view of the Village below. They offer a great selection of hand rolls and Japanese Izakaya-style bites, which are perfect for sharing. Of course, the move here is to check out their impressive sake menu, as well as other Japanese and non-Japanese beverages. We recommend getting a Frozen Kirin to wash it all down. 

5. The Skylark

Even if you're not a tourist, it's hard not to be awed by the views from the Skylark, a classically-styled 30th-floor lounge with a rooftop. The panoramic views of midtown are stunning, and even on a cooler day, you can still enjoy these views from the floor-to-ceiling windows of their main lounge. Our pick of their cocktails is the eponymous Skylark: gin, vodka, St Germain liqueur blue curacao, fresh lemon and brandied cherry. If you're feeling peckish, they also have a great menu of bite-sized dinner items, from tuna wonton tacos to short ribs with corn salsa

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a date and hit up one of these places before summer ends!