There’s a curious shift in where we’re going to satisfy our burger cravings. While older generations still go to the familiar fast-food names they grew up with—McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s— younger diners are less nostalgic. They preferred burger haunts that serve food they perceive as more healthful, with fewer ingredients or additives. They like the option to purchase grass-fed or organic meat.

According to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of nearly 69,000 subscribers, Americans are increasingly turning to fast-casual restaurants. Among them are The Habit Burger Grill, Umami Burger, Shake Shack, and Smashburger, as well as burger-centric full-service casual dining eateries including Bareburger and Cheeburger Cheeburger, which compete with the likes of Red Robin.

Among the top-tier burger restaurants, The Counter and Umami Burger earned high marks for food in our survey—better than Bareburger and Cheeburger Cheeburger—though the overall experiences (menu variety, service, value, and ambiance) were largely similar. In an earlier survey, two years ago, top scores went to In-N-Out Burger and The Habit Burger Grill.

Eating a better burger, though, doesn’t come cheap. Survey respondents paid on average $17 for lunch and $19 for dinner per person for food and drinks at Umami Burger. The average check for either meal at Cheeburger Cheeburger, the least expensive restaurant, came to $13.

But that isn't stopping Americans from seeking out better burgers. According to the latest data from NPD, which tracks consumer spending trends, Americans spend over $80 billion a year on burgers, with or without toppings—more than double what they spend at pizza restaurants. But last year, they spent about $5 billion at better-burger restaurants, up 16 percent from one year earlier, according to consulting firm Technomic.

Chipotle Launches a Better Burger

It's no wonder, then, that the fast feeders have also tried to up their game, though with limited success. When McDonald’s, for instance, debuted fancier patties like the "Angus" burger to compete with In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys Burgers & Fries, consumers generally were unwilling to pay higher prices because the restaurants' reputations were forged on affordability more than quality. "It’s hard to be a better burger when you are serving them in a drive-thru," explains Darren Tristano, president of Technomic.

This month, fast-casual restaurant Chipotle tried a different strategy. The chain launched a spinoff, Tasty Made, which serves grilled-to-order patties from fresh, not frozen, beef, raised without antibiotics or added hormones. But it's keeping prices lower so that they are competitive with the fast feeders, says Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle.

Variety is part of the reason consumers are turning to better burgers. While Umami Burger says its burgers are made from mostly organic meats that are free range, pasture raised, and antibiotic (as well as gluten and hormone) free, The Counter goes a step further. It allows customers to build their own burgers made from organic bison, crab, or Korean barbecue, for instance. You can top the burger with smoked gouda, a sunny-side-up egg, or gochujang sauce, among other choices.

“Millennials are a driving force with their entitlement and willingness to pay for a better burger,” Tristano says. So it's likely that a better-burger chain will soon be coming to a neighborhood near you. Umami Burger, for instance, is expanding to trendy, affluent neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village and Williamsburg in New York City, as well as San Francisco’s Marina District and Chicago's Wicker Park.

The Counter bison-and-Brie burger features organic bison, Brie, cranberries, jalapeños, carrot strings, kale, and apricot sauce. Price: $18.